Friday, 4 May 2018
The downside of boating
There are some tasks that test my commitment to boating to the limit. Operating a Canal and River Trust self operated pump out machine tops the list. A pump out machine, for the fortunate uninitiated, pumps a few weeks worth of human waste from the tank in my boat to their much bigger tank.
This morning the operation at Market Drayton went as follows:
Get up at silly o'clock to walk the dog so I have a chance of getting to the machine before anyone is around to point and laugh.
Tie my boat up as close as possible to the machine, which means pointing my boat's nose into the bridge hole.
Read the instructions for the infernal machine. Read them again.
Attach the pumping hose securely into the hole on my gunwales, making sure the handle is closed.
Have my hose ready for flushing.
Press the button to start the pump and, with much caution, bend over the hose to open the handle, allowing the poo to pump up.
Swear, stagger backwards and nearly retch as the imperfect fit between hole and hose means poo gushes up and squirts all over my hands, trousers and boots.
Look round wildly in all directions to see if anyone was watching, fortunately only seeing a smirk on Bonny's furry face.
Finish the pump out, hose down the side of the boat, the pavement and myself.
Change clothes and wash all over.
Reverse to the diesel dock to wait for them to open and sit down with a cup of tea. Shame it's a bit early for whisky.