Sunday, May 01, 2011

Day eleven on the big Jannock boooat!

Quote of the day :- 4 hoorays oboard a wannabe gin-palace "The Basingstoke canal is, like, lock heaven, Yah?" Yeah right, the Basingstoke canal is, like, mostly closed - so there!

As ever, Abingdon lock was hassle, but the lockie was letting boats ascend with room for one or two more of those left waiting and also opening the bottom paddles before all craft had exited at the top making it difficult for some to leave.
We entered the lock and tied up to watch the confusion that was an Anglo Welsh crew come into the lock. They seemed to think that as long as their bows were in then someone (anyone) else would complete the manoeuvre and tie up for them. We suggested to the lockie that if they came forward then the small boat behind them could also get in. Well, he thought about it and decided it was a very good idea. We thought it bleedin obvious. Then he decided to try and get another cruiser in as well. We could see it was too wide to fit but he had to try, and then pull it back out again after attempting to crush it's stern with the gates. The Anglo Welsh crew then started to have a row, based on domestic inadequacies, as to who would hold their front rope in the lock. We finally ascended and exited to try and access the water point which was now full of craft waiting to lock down. We finally moved across onto it and were approached by the crew of a southbound cruiser wanting the hose as they'd not been able to get any water out of the hose at the pumpout station. Brenda pointed out that it was a sewage disposal point. "yes, but we can't get any water out of it" was the puzzled retort. What fun?
We met the A.W. crew again at Sandford lock. It was self service now as the lockie was at lunch. They entered the lock and we followed on Jannock. I suggested that Brenda played lockie, she declined stating that there were 6 of them - except all 6 were now back on the boat. One of them then realised the situation and went lockside but only to take the ropes - he tried to do one at each end at the same time. Then he realised that he'd have to operate the lock as well and then wondered why nothing on the control panel worked. He even tried turning the wheel but to no avail. I suggested he closed the bottom paddles which he did and went up to the top end of the lock and started flirting outrageously with a couple of girls whilst getting 25p off his girlfriend, aboard the boat, to buy a cigarette from them. He told the girls that he was "having to do it all because the lock keepers didn't work Sundays". Brenda was not having that so she told them that it was only due to lunchbreak that the lockie was not there. He then continued to inform the girls that his hireboat had a bed and a 'banging sound system' Yeah really? We left the lock with me explaining to him that he needed to close the gates and paddles, as no-one was waiting, and suggested that his boat pull over onto the lock landing to pick him up. Personally we would have just left him behind. A Darwin Award could be in the post.
Do the maths - We saw them again today, moored just below the Head of the River, at 15:00. They aint gonna make it back to Guildford in time!
Port Meadow in a strong wind is a phenomenon of nature no boater needs. The lockie at Godstow was great, using our barge pole to try and prise boats off of the lock landing and into the shelter of the lock.
We continued up through Kings Lock and on towards Eynsham until we found somewhere suitable to turn, and tie up against the wind ready, for an attack on the Southern Oxford tomorrow.

1 comment:

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

We will be in Braunston at the week end.