Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Bad Luck

Estoban (Mv 'Gutsy') got turned back at the thames barrier for not having..

1. Two propellors.
2. VHF Radio.
3. A Crew.

Peter (Wb 'Big Baloo') was lucky or unlucky, depending on the viewpoint. His bowthrusters packed up at Marlow (the first lock), and he fell in at Sonning (the last lock). He was in the water for 30 minutes before somebody came out to help him. It must have been a terrifying ordeal, because his engine was still in gear, and it was sucking his legs in towards the prop. Thankfully, he managed to grab a mooring line as he was falling, and held onto that. Though it must have been a truly awful experience for him, I'm relieved that he didn't bang his head on the lock wall; because if he'd been unconscious, there could very well have been a fatality. He's safely berthed up at Reading marina now, which is something to be grateful for.

All of the marina dwellers miss you, Peter.
It's a different place without you.
Everyone is glad you're OK.

Both Estoban & Peter reported seeing only two lock keepers for their entire journey. Which gives some credence to the rumours that they are working to rule because of the pay and conditions. Hopefully, when we set off (on April 15th) the locks will be fully staffed.

And, "set off", we must. Because the marina has increased it's prices. It's now £43.50 per meter per month. As dogma is 17m, it would cost us £8.8K a year to stay on here. And that doesn't include electricity! Doubtless, they'd do us a deal, but we don't feel very comfortable with making a multimillionaire even richer. The naked greed is a shame. But, I suppose that is how a person gets to be a multimillionaire in the first place. You have to wonder if any narrowboats will be able to afford to stay here now. But I guess the big boss doesn't care, because he can squeeze three small plastic boats into the same space we occupy.

Now that our boat is fully operational, I guess it's time for us to get out there and use it.


  1. wow - glad Peter (Wb 'Big Baloo') is ok, that's some story, it's something I always had in the back of my mind while on my boat!

  2. Same here, mate. Respect for the whirling blades.

    I'll be seeing him on Sunday, so I'll get the full rundown. From what I understand, he tripped while leaning out of his wheelhouse. Sonning was the last lock, of a very long, and probably stressful day.