Victor tells it's cruising time again

Published: Saturday, 11 May 2024

ONCE more it's cruising time—the 50th would you believe, and that shocked me!

Didn't realise how long we had been at it.  I only hope that this time we don't get someone fairly new to boating having been shown through a lock telling us what to dofor it's more than likely we won't be doing it the same.

You tend to build up a system, no matter what type of lock, after doing 5,988 of 'em!

Any-road-up, as they say up here, we will be away this Sunday and back around the 28th/29th of this month, so no updates unless I share my thoughts.  And I have to tell that the office is closed so emails cannot be attended to.

No way

I do wish people, obviously knowing little better, would not keep flogging freight on the waterways. Not only do we get the odd councillor who sees a waterway and thinks that will be 'green' transport, not of course realising that with the bottom so near the top and closed so often, it would not work.

And such as one of the original main freight waterways, the Aire & Calder having two stoppage this week alone.

Which is obviously why CaRT gave up on freight, closing its team just after it first came into being.

So was most surprised at that fella from one of the new 'fund' organisations spouting about freight on the waterways.

The Dumbles

I must admit that having passed, and even moored by the Dumbles that was featured in narrowboatworld, I did not know that wood, from Mercia to Willington, was so named.

But alas, not so popular for us, as the dog took to it and found a lovely stretch of mud it decided to roll in—so beware, keep yours on a lead if it is so inclined, as only a bucket of water or two will get it clean.

Fast and furious

I have to admit that the 'quick-fix' repairswhere a broken lock/paddle gets quickly repaired, are coming fast and furious, but have to remark that if only CaRT did winter maintenance even these would not be necessary.

There were four 'quick-fix' repairs towards the end of the week, with broken paddles hugely featuring.

One thing is for sure is that it is better the 'team' does these jobs instead of the Monday to Friday bods.

Good thinking

I was quite impressed with Nick Roberts telling that the tidal Trent is a safe navigation and boaters need not be afraid. We've been down the tidal three times to Keadby (pronounced you should be aware as 'Kiddby') each time waiting at the handy moorings at Torksey. usually overnight until the locky there tells us when to go.

I have to admit the first time was a learning curve as in those early days there was usually a timber carrying ship moored just above Keadby Lock that as the tide was flowing gave a fast flow of water between wall and ship as it left a space, and when it hits you it slings you over onto the wall with a bang.

keadby2The second time we were ready and it was not so bad, with the third time perfect as the tide had just stopped so all was still and the lock gates were open so in we gently went.

Coming out onto the tide (pictured) there is a tendency to be pushed over if it is running but no worries that time as it was still, as can be seen. We have also been off the tide into the Chesterfield Canal a couple of times with its entrance pointing downstream, so we went right past the entrance and turned back into the lock—no problem!

As Nick tells, there is nothing to be worried about.  But dare I tell you our editor cut one bend where a sandbank was clearly marked on the chart and had us grounded!  Jan then took over and we were much safer!

The lesson learnt—don't cut the bends!

Victor Swift—telling tales for 24 years