Here’s a right collection of boats at Ricky, the picture is taken from my roof and you can see I am hemmed in by boats with tales to tell.
To the left is the back of Persephone, the Bassets boat, often used for training and advertising Boat Shed Grand Union, the one on which that Chris and I did the helmsman’s course. When it arrived the water heater was not working well and we spent some time trying to get the pressure better regulated. Next clockwise was an original restored wooden butty (working boat with no engine named Nutfield), towed by the next one along named Raymond. I think they worked OK but as you can’t walk over the back of the butty because it is too high I put my new gang plank between Persephone and Raymond. (more about that mistake later).
Next comes the reproduction red and blue working boat ( I forgotten the name). That had a major problem and the owner spent the whole weekend stripping the engine ( an original) down and reassembling it. I lent a hand a couple of times when more muscle power was needed. He still supplied most of that to be honest.
Next along was the Hillingdon training boat. That was gradually sinking until (reportedly) a Tesco bag was stuffed into the stern gland and the pump run long enough to lower the water away from the fly wheel. That enabled the engine to be started and the boat to join in the tug of war.
Elk on my right in this picture was not suffering any major issues at the time, and of course I had just fixed my major oil leak. Like I said, a right collection!
As you can see we did leave enough room for the trip boats to blast up and down past us, one is just coming into view. At least we left room apart from when the outside boat was swung across the canal to form a bridge to Tesco. When it comes to making a festival go well for your friends every little helps.
Now that is were the gang plank came in useful for most. They would pop along from Persephone to Raymond and off to Tesco via a swinging boat. We just got to Ricky on Friday and I had mentioned I needed to go to Tesco so my dear friends urged me to join the trip, “Quickly, they are going.” “No, I’ll go later” “No you may as well, hurry up!”.
“Ohh where’s my wallet and phone, got them, OK, I’m coming”
I’ll just step onto the gang plank from my boat, into the middle of it, at an angle, onto the unsecured gang plank,.
Err, why does it feel like I have stepped on ice, why is my foot moving away from under me, oh no, not again, I wish I was able to blame someone else for this. splash..
Silence, not too cold, no pain.. that’s good and lucky considering there is virtually no room between these boats, .. B ** ell, my phone is in my pocket.
“Are you OK, did he fall in, is he OK, get the rudder over under his feet, here hold onto this, can you get out, put you foot on the rudder, you OK?”
Now they were all very good, they should be considering there were at least two instructors, several professionals and only experienced handlers. I would like to see the pictures though, yes I did see a camera when I was still in the water.
Well the phone dried out, eventually, my provisions were got by Phil for me, and I paid him in soggy notes. However the whole festival seems to know that I fell in. even complete strangers were overheard saying in whispers, “that’s the guy who fell in.”
The rest of the weekend was good. With the boaters having impromptu jamming sessions, boat tug of wars ( or is that tugs of war) and drink sharing all around.
And afterwards, back to base at Apsley for some much need paint touch up and to repair the shower. Roll on next year.