Sunday, April 24, 2011

Maritime mayhem

Sound of the day – church and cathedral bells.

Our guest crew, Wally, Peg, Uncle Jim, Heather, Frank and me, mum, Wally and Jim Phoebe the dog arrived before the National Trust had unlocked the wharf and so I ended up doing gate duty for our guests as well as the crew and passengers of the Surrey County Council community boat. Jannock set off southbound, through Millmead lock and into maritime mayhem. Skiffs, rowing boats and punts akimbo filled the river out past Guildford rowing club. It was here that a rowing coach, concerned about his charge who was out in a single skiff, told Brenda to slow down. She replied “ but I am in neutral” . “I know” he replied adding “ but slow down anyway”.  We continued down the Godalming navigation, through St. Catherine's lock and into Unstead lock where a tiny boat, powered by an electric outboard, and containing four adults and a small child insisted on sharing the lock with us. This combination of 62’ narrowboat and 6’ rowboat made operating the paddles very difficult so as to keep them safe. Brenda expressed her concern that the toddler did not have a life jacket on, to which Grandma stated that she was holding on tight to the child. Brenda couldn’t help herself at this point and commented that if Grandma fell in then the child was sure to go in with her in that case. As we exited this lock, Terry on Arun arrived to go down on his return journey to the Thames.

trip boat oss We winded at Godalming wharf, having failed at Farncombe boathouse due to getting stuck on a large underwater obstruction, and then tied up for lunch at the wharf. The steak and kidney that Brenda had prepared in the slow cooker during yesterdays journey was excellent and enjoyed by all.  We watched the horse drawn trip boat depart and then met it at Cattershall lock on our return journey.

Our return trip included a very near miss with an out-of-control daytrip boat on which the steerer kept pushing the tiller the wrong way and Graham putting Jannock’s bows into the foliage, much to the disgust of the front well passengers, on a very sharp bend. We returned our guests to Dapdune wharf and then tidied up the boat ready for tomorrow’s repeat trip with another guest crew.


1 comment:

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

Last time I was that way, there was a post on the inside of one of the bends on the bank for the tow rope to pass round and help the boat to follow the channle