Monday 16 November 2009

A Windy Weekend!

Sunday 15th November 2009

Although it had been our intention to spend a long weekend on the boat the met office weather warnings of flooding and high winds in the Midlands had put us off travelling down until Sunday morning.
A clear journey down; left home at 9.30am and by 1.30pm we had eaten on the boat and were pulling out of the marina. The storm force winds that had apparently caused chaos the day before had dropped and the sky was pure blue. We enjoyed a lovely quiet trip up through Hoo Mill Lock and winded just through Ingestre Bridge (No78) and later moored just south of the bridge. We had only passed one boat - I guess most people had written off the weekend and gone home.

Locking up through Hoo Mill Lock

Immediately after winding, and as the canal was quiet, I thought I would practice some reversing as 'Escapology' has got to be the most uncontrollable boat to reverse in history not responding to any of the 'text book' techniques the magazines and manuals promote! Although the exercise was completely inconclusive and seemingly pointless to any 'gongoozler', I managed to reverse all the way to Brinepit Bridge (No79), and it was great fun. The 'galley girl' however was most uncomfortable with this pointless display and did what she normally does in this situation - vanished from the rear deck to sit out of sight in the saloon to avoid embarrassment until forward gear was selected and normal service resumed.

Mooring just south of Ingestre Bridge (No78)

We had both booked Monday off work because firstly we both dislike Mondays and secondly we were under the impression that the weather was always good on a Monday! A theory born from repeatedly witnessing great conditions on the day you go back to work after a wet weekend on the canal. After dark I checked the weather forecast on my hand-held gadget; to my disappointment the met office were predicting heavy rain and strong winds for Monday. Great.

The weather forecast we didn't want for Monday!

Monday 16th November 2009

Woke at 6.30am to a howling gale and heavy rain. Although the weather had deteriorated we waited for a dry spell, around 11.15am, to push on back to the marina. By the time we arrived the wind had returned and the rain was falling. The only option for birthing was to pull in front first at a reasonable lick and only apply the break once we were well into the mooring. That we did quite successfully. Although we dislike mooring this way around as everything seems back-to-front and with added complications as we are further from the power socket, any attempt to reverse into the mooring would, I am sure, have been futile in these conditions.

Despite the desperate weather it had been a good day; for a Monday!