Monday 5th March
March winds they say! Well March certainly came in with a howler, and a cold northerly at that! This was going to be a fun challenge I thought as I was stripping off the canopies ready to move her south to the painters at Hayes. I know I have a reputation for saying that all inanimate objects are out to get you but it really was as if the wind was being vindictive. At every opportunity it tried to rip the canopies out of my hands. It whisked the loose corners about and wrapped them around my head, flicked them in my face and desperately tried to get them into the water. But to no avail, they are home and dry. Then it started on the poor guy who wanted to move his 65ft boat to the pump out station, 50 yards up wind, broad side on. My sympathy went out to him and his crew as they polled and pushed and hove etc to try to get her off the other eight boats that they had been blown sideways onto. I was lucky, in that the wind dropped just a bit so I just “went for it ” at fairly full tilt and managed to miss everything else and get her out into the canal. With my back to the cold northerly and sun in my eyes it was a lovely trip down to Hayes.
However there were somber moments when passing the homeless make shift beds under some of the bridges. Cocoons of plastic, cardboard and old blankets. Sometimes with a pair of boots neatly left outside the mound that presumably contained some poor soul sleeping off the night, with little reason to get up on a cold March morning.
In places at the backs of factories and housing estates there are avalanches of plastic bags and empty cans cascading down into the canal. A black bag got wafted up and floated above the canal as if held by invisible cords before falling onto the water and, being filled by the wind, scudded off on its own mission to seek out a new home.
A passing boatman, noting my boat’s name, shouted through the wind “There is no Gentle Breeze today!”.
And so to Hayes. I know its daft but I felt the same as if I was leaving a child at school on their first day. well I suppose the time will soon pass. A bit more on the paint problem on the Making GB my own page.