We didn’t blog yesterday as far too busy socialising and locking in the latter part of the day. I received a message, at the start of the day, from another ortomarine boat owner about the dangers of walking on a smooth wet bow, accompanied by a picture of a cut swollen and strapped foot. I replied with a message of sympathy.
We came forward one lock then walked up to meet Margaret and Roland along the towpath. We arrived within a minute of each other and Roland arranged to leave his car in the car park at the pub for a few days while booking a table for dinner.
Last time we went through them the lock keeper helped us through some of them but not this time. Some of the mechanisms didn’t work and all had anti vandal shackles on them. It was very windy and this was causing other drivers difficulty. Both Margaret and Roland were keen to help and we kept warm running between the locks. I was very glad of their help on the locks, as was another boat who joined us. Worryingly, at one point Roland’s windlass slipped from the high mounted spigot as he was winding and swung towards him hitting his head. He had a cut but fortunately he seems not badly damaged and it was a glancing blow. Later there was more sharing of warnings on the Ortomarine owners group!
A fun and food filled evening ensued. Margaret being a keen knitter, we were chatting with our respectiive needles in hand. Before she started, we wound a skein of mohair to a ball – a change to be winding wool and not lock paddles. Glad we didn’t have to stitch Roland’s head.
I have managed to get the panel stitched up and ends sewn in.
Margaret had also made a panel with capercaillie (an endangered species) centerpiece on it.Today I have sent it off to another friend who has done a panel and she is going to stitch our 3 panels together. And all used the same cable up the sides of life pictures for continuity. They will be displayed at COP 26.
Funnily enough this afternoon we passed a floating business called The Wool Boat. We may check it out later, as their stock was packed away and they do mail order. I am now planning my next project.
It’s been a rainy day but we have made the best of the weather, going out to shop and the post office in the sunshine and lunch inside when it rained. While waiting moored, we heard a loud splash and turned round to see a squirrel had missed it’s landings and landed hard and fast in the canal. It swam to the edge and ran hurriedly for the safety of a tree. He was a lot wetter than we ever got and it sounded like a very bad bellyflop.
After lunch we had a couple of swing bridges but more high tech than the ones I’ve been operating recently. The first had a lit up panel with the instructions. Quite good illustrations of what was happening but grey on blue was not easy to read.
The second had a metal plate and was easier to read. It also was the same procedure so not hard to know what to do. I pressed the button. There are flashing red lights, an audible alarm and then a red and white gate lowers across the road, like at a level crossing. A driver approached, went well beyond the stop line and the barrier landed on his car. I stopped the barrier and pressed the close button so it reversed it’s procedure and raised the barrier and he drove across, then stopped and his passenger got off to check for damage. Luckily it was unscathed. I’m not sure what part of stop line, flashing lights and sirens, that driver failed to notice, but slightly worrying that he’s still driving. We completed the bridge opening and closing without incident.
We found a nice spot to moor. Margaret and I put in some practice at hammering in spikes and we went in to have tea and more of Roland’s very fine lemon and bramble cake with bramble cream, all safely before the rain.
Despite accidents and weather we are still smiling!