Thursday, 9 September 2010

More Practice

We had an amusing start to today, when a little GRP cruiser ('Bizet') with a 'full steam ahead' merchant at the helm, overtook us at maximum speed down the lock cut. The bow wave was about a foot high. He then moored right in the middle of the layby, where he had to wait for the gates to open. The lock keeper waved us in first, and Mr Bizet took that as a cue to fire up his own engine and attempt to pile in at the same time. The lock keeper waved at him to stop, and go back. Oh, how we enjoyed that little moment.

Mister BizetHe then let his wife drive, and she ended up graunching the boat against the lock walls, in reverse. When the gates opened, he had to wait for us to leave first. Which also felt sweet. And the last we saw of him, he was zig-zagging off down the river, trying to overtake everything in his path, without crashing into the overhanging trees of the islands.

BuzzardSaw a pair of Buzzards at Cliveden. Red Kites are bigger, rarer, and more visually impressive. But they don't make the same sound as a Buzzard, which ranks in my top ten 'nature sounds'. They also seem to be able to glide for much longer than Red Kites. We saw them all the time in Devon, a familiar and welcome sight. But they are scarcer around here. Maybe Red Kites eat them.

Woodland PathRammed the bank again, successfully. And had a nice walk around the woods in the sunshine, despite having whammed my shin with the sledgehammer. Hitting my shins with the sledgehammer, was number one reason for not considering a sledgehammer. But the ease that you can ram the pins into the ground, won out in the end. But to the people who say, "Will you be getting yourself a chain saw?". The answer is "NO!".
Carved Wooden ManSlipper Launch River CruisesThe scenic routeOn the way back through Cookham lock (which we had to operate ourselves again), Mr "I've been boating since the seventies" advised us to tie up with the stern rope first. From the flybridge of his rather large cruiser, with bowthrusters. Doesn't make much sense to me, as the blunt end is where the engine sits. In our admittedly limited experience, it's not been good for us to leave the boat's unpowered bits flapping about, and we've been tying it down as soon as possible. And then swinging the stern around with the engine. But we nodded politely and thanked him for his 'wisdom'.

All summer, we've seen cruisers tie up at the Bourne End jetty. It's invariably the white gloved wives and girlfriends who lasso the bollards and cleats.... from the front.

No comments:

Post a Comment