Thursday, 17 September 2015

Embarrassing start, better finish

The plan today was an early start as we wanted to get to Lyme Green in time to meet Sheila's brother and sister-in-law for lunch in Sutton Hall. Just after seven, we started up and I reversed Sanity Again out under the towpath bridge. It meant winding her immediately, as you can't come out facing Macclesfield, but that's no more than I've done several times before.

Only this time, I messed it up completely, reversing too far into the rather dodgy hole (which is shallow and full of scuttled boats from the end of the carrying days) and ending up with the boat stranded across the width of it with both bow and stern well stemmed up. Sheila's efforts with the shaft at the bow were to no avail. By this time, John had emerged to see us off and with some difficulty I managed to get an extended stern line to him and Andy who had turned up for work.

It proved impossible to get the stern to come round, so we transferred the line to the bow. By now, most of the rest of the workers were about too and with their help the bow was hauled off the mud. An attempt to swing the bow round with the stern in the hole didn't work; there just wasn't the depth. In the end, forty minutes after we'd started, I reversed Sanity Again along the length of the Deeps and winded her in the official winding hole at the far end.

I've not made such a mess of a boating manoeuvre in many years and have duly nominated myself for the BOG Award next year.

We were now seriously tight for time, but dedicated boating in rather unpleasant, chilly and damp conditions got us there with 20 minutes to spare. We'd no sooner tied than Jan rang to say that they were running late and wouldn't arrive until half twelve...

No matter, it gave us a chance to get our breath back. We met up in the car park of the Retail Park and drove to Sutton Hall for another excellent meal, leisurely, well cooked and washed down with good beer. We're looking forward to a quiet evening and another serious day's boating tomorrow. We plan to get down Bosley and on to Congleton by the afternoon.


Jo said...

Never mind, eh! Happens to the best of us and if it wasn't for moments like that, boating would be very boring!!

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Ah, Bruce, that's nothing! You should have seen us coming up Wyre Lock on the Avon last year. Henry is only 40ft, Wyre Lock is one of those funny diamonds and I thought, sod it, we won't tie up because it's damn awkward and we'll just take it easy on the paddles instead. Cue my bow getting caught in the flow, spinning Henry right round until we were wedged, fender to fender, right across the lock, looking like a bunch of idiots. Big domestic followed as Andy tried to pull the bow the WRONG way (like I want to go out the lock backwards!) and my dignity was most ruffled. Thankfully, although it was a Sunday morning, there were no witnesses...only much later did I discover there's a webcam on site!

We live and learn and look foolish occasionally :-)


P.S. We should be passing Mercia week after next!