It’s amazing how fast things can happen along the normally sluggish water road of the canals. I was spending a quiet afternoon just moving gentle Breeze down a few locks and was happy to share them with a couple of guys who had come down from Ely. (Forgotten the name of their Springer nb already, but they moor by the Cutter pub.) Anyway there we were, one of us each on the downstream gate paddles, the helmsman on his boat, mine roped but not tied to the bollard. All neat and tidy and ship shape so to speak. Ready to let out the water? yes OK. Up come the paddles out goes the water, final check on the rachet pawl, turn around to see …
Their boat had already gone down some 18 inches, but mine was leaning precariously over towards their boat and looked as if it would roll over onto it squashing the helmsman. The angle was increasing by the second as we all shouted and rushed to begin to drop the paddles. At that moment she dropped back into the water, causing a minor tsunami and bobbed about as if to say, “that got you going”. Well, yes it did!
We tried to see what had caused the problem. All we could see was a slightly chipped brick on the slightly bulging lock wall, which must have been enough to hang the boat. On examination the boat had shipped water into the front deck well, but it had not flooded into the cabin. Also a few items inside had fallen over. It just goes to show that you can not take your eyes of them for a moment when locking.
I do normally pay her reasonable attention, this is the first time she has hung up on me, but we are back on speaking terms and have a date for today.