Tuesday, 24 August 2010

This is not what I signed up for

Definitely not!!!
However to start at the beginning.............Monday we positioned ourselves at Saxilby and monitored the weather forecasts all day.   The timing of the heavy rain seemed to be creeping forward so it looked as though Tuesday would be a better bet.  Still strong winds forecast though.
We departed Saxilby at 0615 so that we could be at Torksey in time to give Barney a run before the 8am time the lock keeper had given us.
The sun was shining and we locked down with another narrowboat....he had done the trip to Cromwell many times before so we gallantly let him go first!!!
It was breezy at the start but after about an hour it really started to freshen.  Despite the fact that we were going on the flood there was so much fresh water coming down that we made slow progress...average of 3.5mph for the trip.



We passed several boats going the other way and also these two larger ones.  

It was wonderful to see Cromwell Lock come into view and we locked up in company with the other narrowboat and 5 plastic ones.   One of these had whizzed past us on the way only to have to wait for us all......
We decided that we would stay the night on the pontoon mooring at Cromwell and that is when the trouble started.   There was already a small plastic boat moored on the outside but plenty of room for us ahead of him.  However I underestimated the force of the wind and the volume of water coming down the river.   I made two attempts with Geoff (who managed to get ashore on the first attempt) and the skipper of the plastic boat trying to take the lines but to no avail.   After each attempt I had to back away and go up river and turn which was quite hair raising (I was not a happy bunny by this stage!!)  For the third attempt they signalled from the shore that I should try and come in on the inside of the pontoon....you should have gathered by now that Geoff was on the shore and I was alone on the boat......so yet another turn and this time I hacked it.   By the time we were tied up my knees and stomach felt like jelly and it has taken me several hours to recover...........

Several hours later another boat attempted to get in on the outside of the pontoon and he took 4 attempts!!!!    I feel better now.   Eventually he went on the inside but the photo below shows him struggling.
He did eventually manage to reverse it into the inside of the pontoon with the aid of an awful lot of wellie......and after being stuck on the bank.....

The wind continues and so does the water flow.  We are hoping the wind will die down tomorrow so that we can reach Newark as Rebecca is joining us there for a few days.

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