Tuesday 13 August 2013

Trent and piracy report

A cool night but incident free. The cats came in at a reasonable time which enabled Lynne to get a decent worry-free sleep. The gas hob ignition worked this morning as it should, but the boiler has obviously given up the ghost, which suggests it has developed a fault since we first got Tardis Two as it certainly worked initially. One fault identified and acknowledged as such. Before we decide to cruise-on or return we will need to discuss repairs with MCC. My preferred option is to continue as planned whilst some of the summer remains and return to Stensen for repairs off-season. A downside to this plan is the rise of lock piracy , sheer bad manners and queue jumping suffered since the school holidays started. This time of year the canals are heavily utilised as hire-boat fleets set sail en-mass to maximise income, alongside family boats normally moored permanently in marinas. All hell breaks loose, which somewhat undermines our decision to cruise the UK's most popular canal now. We suffered lock piracy when a boat blatantly ignored Lynne waiting for me to prepare entry and barged through anyway (no pun intended). Most locks were built adjacent to bridges which unfortunately obscures boaters views of any lock activities and visa versa, and allows any unscrupulous users to cheat and gain time at busy periods. Another fully crewed boat moored- up as I was single-handedly preparing a lock and blatantly sat watching without a hint of offering to help. Lynne suggested I closed the gate as we left meaning it would force one of the lazy b.....des to get off and open it, but I invoked the old adage of "two wrongs do not make a right",  having since regretted it. Inthe event I profusely thanked each crew member for their help as we slowly cruised by. I was unsure if the sarcasm hit home.
A short cruise to Aylewas for food supplies and a discussion with Eddie resulted in him requesting we return to Stensen for Paul to fully reset the boiler controls, despite Lynne explaining she had already done so twice with no positive result.we even phoned an engineer from the boiler company who talked us both through the set-up procedure, again without success. His fault diagnosis was that the boiler had set itself into "safety mode", probably due to an earlier power supply failure (and we never mentioned our ongoing power problems), spooky eh ? Is it a case of Eddie putting us in the Sun reader category? Isn't it annoying when people do that? I realise I did that yesterday. Sorry if it caused offence to anyone.
With Lynne steering this morning I was able to watch a cormorant follow us along the canal, mainly underwater but occasionally appearing on the surface with a decent sized fish, which quickly disappeared down his/her throat.
During our return trip this afternoon I became a real liability, losing track of reality at locks or while steering the boat.It is a testament to Lynne's increasing confidence she was able to quickly take- over my duties without problem. At one point whilst steering I called her regarding what I perceived as a canal blockage ahead. She immediately confirmed it was not a blockage, but two boats moored on the same bank on a corner. A mirage on the Trent and Mersey canal? Am I going nuts? These drugs have a lot to answer for.  I was sent to the boat interior for the remainder of the afternoon for my own safety and that of others.
This latest interruption to our plans has done little for both our states of mind. Anger and frustration is surfacing in us both. Roll on Stensen  when Vesuvius is likely to erupt again. 

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