Don’t Bring Me Down

I woke early and, rather than disturb Heather, stepped out the front, intending to sit outside but the seats were wet and so I had a stroll along the tow path. The sun was shining on the water and I saw lots of shiny little insects on dancing around on the surface of the water, a sight you can’t get from the moving boat as your need to be very close and the water still.

We had deliberately moored not too far from a place selling diesel. Heather and I had walked ahead the night before and found the place just past a bridge. We knew it didn’t open early but also closed for lunch, so needed to be careful with timings but the going was so slow it was hard to predict. We arrived just as they were opening. Perfect! Looked like we’d stepped into another era.


We set off and before long noticed we had picked up a trail of yellow water lilies at the front of the boat. I took photos of then and Heather took photos from the side hatch of me looking at them.

flower train

Shane threw them off with the bow thruster but at least waited until the photos were taken. When we had traveled far enough to heat the water up, Heather was able to have a hot shower. It was a great day to dry out towels and my wet shoes in the sun at the front of the boat.

We stopped for lunch and Heather treated us to a lovely slap up feed in the sunshine at Guy’s Thatched Hamlet which is right on the canal side. A wasp arrived in my Lancaster amber ale, which I manage to extract safely using tweezers.

Before setting off Shane wanted to check to see if there was a problem with the propellor and opened the metal lid that covered the space where the weed hatch is at the stern. He has cleared weed on other boats often,in the past, but was looking hesitant. I asked if he was unhappy about doing it and the feminist that he is, immediately agreed that if I wanted to do it, to go ahead. First off I went to change into a sleeveless top as guddling in the canal water was not recommended in sleeves.

Shane brought carry mat so I could kneel on the gritted deck more comfortably. Just managing to get the large metal weed hatch unscrewed and lifted at a very particular angle, when it is heavy, awkward shaped and muddy. The propeller seemed a long way down and nothing could be seen in the murky depths but after a bit of groping I felt something and eventually managed to pull out a substantial piece of carpet! Further grappling needed me to lie flat to feel and turn the propellor itself…Shane got some more mat for me to lie on… It’s not an ideal position for someone straight after a large lunch.

With my head down a hole, I am not sure how much of a spectator sport this was proving for the diners. Certainly both Shane and Heather were getting their cameras out. I amassed quite pile of weed and plastic bag with the carpet. Fortunately there was a bin nearby. During the deep dive I had managed to get my hair wet and the vest top muddy. My turn for a shower and another change of top and wash the other one, just as well that drier was up.

I would have thought the duckweed was the only carpet in the canal.

Can you feel it?

Down, down, deeper and down
Final fumble – that lot will certainly affect the flow

Once I was freshened up, Heather and I went shopping in Garstang and then we set off looking for a more rural mooring for the evening. Heather was keen to look into the river Wyre from a small attractive aqueduct, hoping for a sight of a kingfisher. None appeared but we had an explore. The water was clear, no weed or animal life evident though.