A stoppage-less cruise

Published: Friday, 07 October 2022

BEING an avid reader of your site we set off on our two weeks cruise with some trepidation, writes Julie Warne.

Worried of course that stoppages would be sure to affect us as we left our moorings at Mercia setting off for our first 'adventure' on the Shropshire Union Canal and return, with both my partner and I checking as well as we could what stoppages were already in place.

Only a slight delay

Finding none gave us hope, so away we went along the Trent & Mersey with only an Aqua narrowboat crew not knowing what they were doing at Alrewas Lock, by letting the water out very, very slowly as they were going down causing the only slight delay on the first day.

When that boat eventually came through and we went in the lock it was to see a line of boats behind them, with irate people complaining that the Aqua crew took 20 minutes to get down every lock that takes less than five, with one of them telling me the crew had been told to go through locks very carefully raising paddles very slowly, so as not to damage the boat. This they were certainly doing, not realising that when going down the boat simply stays at the front of the lock no matter how you open the paddles, and all they were doing was causing a build-up of boats behind them.

Very few boats about

Then the rest of the cruise really was plain sailing (no pun intended) as we of course had locks in favour and locks against that we all expect, and as it was late in the boating season very few boats about.

The only 'shock' being the rather narrow width through the bridges on the Shropshire Union Canal, but we soon discovered it was best to go through at normal pace rather than slow right down and so loose 'way'.

But no stoppages either there or back!  And so the reason for my writing, to tell that you can have a fortnight on the waterways without being stopped by some breakage or other as is often portrayed in your columns.  But human nature being what it is I expect that it is natural to complain when things go wrong, but accept things when they go right!

[Thank you so for your following kind words, but we do not publish such acclaim!—Editor.]