Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Solo

As it was a nice sunny morning, I decided to spend the rest of the day away from the marina. I fancied an overnight stay at Gosmoor, so I could check out how the inverter and batteries would behave. Consulted the river conditions website, and it said "stream decreasing". Righto, safe to venture out then. After a quick blast from our heat gun, the engine started up first time. And an hour and a half later, I was approaching Gosmoor, where I'd hoped to moor..

.Oh Dear. It's full with unoccupied boats. Stuffed.

Thankfully, the river gods took pity, and smiled on me. The lock gates were open, and the lock was in my favour. So I took the command decision to carry on, and try to tie up at Higginson's Park in Marlow. The first time I'd been through a lock on my own. And Marlow is quite deep. Gulp! Two tourists appeared out of nowhere. So I also had an audience. Deep breath. Eased myself in gently, and didn't ram anything. Engine off. Walked down the gunwhales and up the steps, with center and rear lines. And then, as if by magic, the lock keeper appeared. Which was a relief.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice that the shiny black bollards had just been painted, and it smeared itself all over the ropes. The lock keeper didn't seem too fussed, "I can just repaint them, I'm more concerned about your lines". He suggested white spirit and a cloth to remove the black paint. Which worked fine.

Ten minutes later, I was tied up at the park, and Sumo was off checking his peemail.

So, today I discovered that the engine is reliable against a fast current, and it can handle long bursts of full revs without overheating. I doubt we will be using full revs anywhere on the canals, but it's good to know that it's there, should we need it. I also discovered that if I take things slowly and methodically, even a deep lock can be done single handed.

WoOt for me!

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