Loo views

Loo views

Wednesday 15 August 2018


This was my last sunset at Hunts Lock; my home mooring for the last 9 years. Today I set off for my new adventure on the Shropshire Union Canal.

Leaving is an exhausting business. Practically I had a list of jobs as long as your arm and a lot of them involved humping heavy loads. Emotionally it has been hard too. Saying goodbye to favourite places, favourite people and favourite dogs drains me, and as Bonny and I did our last favourite walk, in a place she has spent all her life so far, I wondered whether I was doing the right thing. But my car and most of my essentials are already at Shebdon, notice has been given on my old mooring and it is too late for doubts.

We set off with the good wishes of our neighbours ringing in our ears and the good will of the lock keepers helping us up the flight. Once we were actually on our way, my heart lightened but that didn't last!

We reached Woodend Lock, the 6th lock that morning and without warning my engine suddenly started screaming at me. I immediately shut everything down and tied up. I cautiously restarted the engine, but as soon as I tried to put it in gear all hell broke loose. I called RCR, the AA of the canals. Amazingly two helpful and cheerful young men were with me within 30 minutes!

It took no time at all for them to diagnose the problem; a discarded Xmas tree had wrapped itself around my propeller and the screaming sound was my overstressed gearbox. The poor engineer had to don his dry suit and swim under my boat to free the offending item. Here it is...

(A plea to those who live on or near the canals: please don't use the waterways as a dustbin, you have no idea what trouble a little bit of rubbish can cause.)

Once the offending item had been removed and the propeller had been checked for damage, we started up my engine again and, with everything crossed, gently eased her into gear. Hallelujah, my gearbox was fine and in no time at all I was on my way again.

I staggered into Kings Bromley marina for diesel and a pump out, but the adrenaline was draining fast and with it the last of my energy. Once I left the marina I tied up as soon as I was able and collapsed into my armchair. It's a few hours on now. Bonny and I have had a walk and I have chatted to my friends. I shall sleep well tonight but apart from feeling unbelievably tired, I am back to normal.

Who knows what tomorrow may bring, but I'm ready for it!

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