Not so much present….. more past.
Was asked to get some pictures of where we used to live in Apsley.
So here they are.
Didn’t really have time to get out of the car and make a meal of it.
A) Because I fell of my bike at the locks and smashed my camera up. The viewfinder is now like a test screen you used to get on telly when all the programs had finished.
B) Because I just cycled 60 miles and really couldn’t be bothered.
So that’s all folks.
Day on the bike
Much faster than the boat, I had to bike back and collect the car after a weeks boating.
In this case, just over 60 miles.
Took me a wee while. Boating along the canal is fairly easy. Riding on the towpath is too.
A fisherman stepped backwards into me and told me I needed to get off and walk. I told him they, (fishermen), didn’t own the towpath. Someone else shouted back, they pay for it.
Another pathetic and useless argument.
It’s the first time I’ve ever hit a fisherman. It was his fault.
The thing you’ve got to remember about the towpath. It’s a right of way. You can’t expect to block it without giving due car and attention to the other users.
I couldn’t really be bothered to stop and explain this, fairly obvious pre-requisite to being a towpath user.
And moved on.
Some holiday makers were blocking the path a little further down, past Leighton Buzzard, on the way up to Birkhamstead.
They offered to move out of the way, as they were blocking the towpath with their heaving and hauling pushing with poles and whatnot.
The boat was skewed across the width of the canal.
I was happy to watch, I said, which put them off a bit….
Still they carried on with their poking with the pole.
Poking with a pole
This isn’t something you want to do. The pole has a very small contact footprint. Unless you poke it dead flush, which rarely happens. Things will move, the pole slips, you may end up in the cut.
It’s not the way to do it.
I said “get the pole under the draft and lever the boat off the bottom”, which was briefly tried. Said boater was nervous about snapping his pole, and made some comment about snapping the pole. And I said “it doesn’t snap when I do it on my boat”.
So we tried that.
Told him to switch the engine on, turn the tiller fully toward the bank and blast it off, together with a bit of pushing.
Didn’t budge an inch.
I grabbed the middle rope and pulled the bow in to the bank. Told him to put the engine on.
Another couple from a boat they were in convoy with up the way turned up, she jumped on the boat to help ballast it to one side, and he started pushing with the pole. As I said, not the best idea, but he was a hire boater also.
I carried on pulling it to the bank, and one of the other guys gave me a hand.
Once we’d got it to the bank, I said “push it out”, the three guys pushed the stern out. The tiller-man engaged the gears, told the ladies to rock it a bit…. Off it went…
I got a thanks and a beer.
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Copyright 2017 Michael Tyler Sailor's Almanac: Further Narrowboat Adventures