Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Lyra’s Birthday, and other excitement

Maybe it was me that was excited about today being Lyra’s birthday as I slept really badly last night, she as usual slept like a log. The rain subsided for a while at the right time for her first walk, so she got her first birthday present which is a soft floating ring which she really enjoyed playing with on the towpath. I don’t think that it will last too long as she’s already split some of the stitching. Finding good hard wearing and buoyant toys isn’t that easy.

IMG_8764 As the weather was still undecided as to how much rain it was planning to provide today I kept putting off leaving, which proved quite useful mid morning. The towpath where we were moored was being cut today. After the first guy, with the large powered mower, went past Lyra wanted to see what all the noise was about so I let her out onto the well deck. Moments later the mower slipped into one of the washouts that this bit of towpath suffers from. The second grass cutter was some way behind and concentrating on the trimming, so I quickly put Lyra back inside the boat and rushed down to help stop the mower making it’s way further into the canal and to drag it back onto dry land. Nothing more serious than a wet leg was suffered but when he came back up the towpath later he was far more cautious.

Eventually we did leave and nothing much happened until we got to Sutton Stop where one of the boats on the long term moorings was across the canal as it’s mooring rope was no longer attached to the bank. There was room for me to pass and by the time I had tied on the lock mooring someone was retying the boat so I didn’t need to go back as I had intended. There were a few boats coming the other way at the junction but even with the strong wind it all worked, probably because there wasn’t a huge crowd at the pub.

As I passed under the bridge at Marston Junction a couple of young lads on bicycles warned me that there were a couple of loose boats just after the junction. I was expecting more of the same and passing would be easy but one of the boats, a short cruiser, was completely free and broadside across the cut alongside a moored boat with no room to get past. I had to stop next to it and make my way to the front of my boat to direct the errant craft across to a couple of people who had stationed themselves on the moored boat. I then had to move forwards to allow a waiting hire boat to vacate the logical space to remoor the escapee, which didn’t pass without problems as I managed to go aground just to add to the fun. Meanwhile an oncoming private boat had stopped to secure the other loose boat. I stopped to make sure that the cruiser was tied up properly, which was fortunate as one of it’s lines had been snapped, which suggests that the problems were caused by someone who interprets the term slow fairly loosely, and a bit of my blue string was needed to make it secure. Once all was sorted the two rescuers continued on their way, I had assumed that they were boaters but they must have just been out for a walk.

I’ve been wondering  recently whether it is me becoming more intolerant or if fewer boaters are slowing down for moored boats. I haven’t come across situations like today before so am tending more towards thinking that it is inconsiderate behaviour.

We moved on a bit further and moored just before bridge 17 for a late lunch just as the weather got really bad, with Lyra getting her other new toy, which is a soft, but fairly tough tug toy for her afternoon walk in a break in the rain.

26082009602 Again she really enjoyed her new toy, but I can’t claim any credit for making good choices as she had joined me in the shop yesterday and had chosen her presents. I find it better to let her choose as I had got a selection of toys for her before she arrived and although they all seemed fine to me, a couple of them haven’t been touched at all.

The weather showed no sign of improving so we didn’t move any further today.

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