Friday, 25 October 2013

“Wot’s up Skip?”

Well if you weren’t a child or parent in Oz or NZ during the 60’s you probably haven’t heard of or seen the Australian childrens TV seriesSkippy the Bush Kangaroo”.  The adventures of a young Aussie boy and his intelligent Kangaroo.  Every so often the Kangaroo would notice something was wrong and our young hero would say “Wot’s up Skip?”  Recently either Jan or I would proclaim “Wot’s up Skip!” as we approach or exit a bridge.  Not because there is a Kangaroo.  But they do hop….. and so do a number of the boats observed near bridges! Smile  Our first winter on the canals was rather static at the eastern end of the K&A so we hadn’t previously observed this phenomenon.  It wasn’t that prevalent during the height of summer but now we’re noticing a number of tired looking boats appearing near bridges, towns and boater facilities.  We’re wondering where they have been hiding all summer?

It rained quite heavily during the night but I woke to a glorious dry and sunny Autumn day.  Jan didn’t…. She was up well before dawn!  Last night I went for a walk around the local area attempting to take some photos.  If I use the flash it doesn’t have sufficient power to illuminate the scene.  If I turn off the flash the shutter stays open so long I blur the photo.

After all my attempts only the photo of The Greyhound pub proved to be in focus. 

We left our mooring around 9.30am with Jan walking to the stop lock.  Two boats appeared from the opposite direction and I had to loiter at the entrance to the lock whilst the crew of the first boat (a hire boat) attempted to organise themselves.  Jan stepped in a gave practical advice and assistance.  Meanwhile I was attempting not to hit touch the boat moored to my starboard (right).  The hire boat eventually exited the lock and then the crew in the bow pointed to the water point.  The boat I was attempting not to come into contact with was MOORED on the water point and had been overnight.  Moreover they had their engine running charging the batteries.  What a cheek……….

The novice steerer on the hire boat then had the difficult task of trying to reverse across the canal and onto the small gap immediately in front of the boat moored on the water point.

We passed through Hawkesbury Junction onto the Coventry Canal towards Coventry.  Immediately beyond the junction there is another water point.  And this one also had an unattended boat moored on the water point.

Boat on the water point mooring…… Nice bollards to moor on I suppose!

Jan managed to find a friend at the water point and both of us were surprised at how brazen she was.

It didn’t take long to top up the tank and we were soon on our way.  I was distracted leaving the mooring and for a split second though we were about to have a close encounter with a landing swan.

Fortunately the bird and fish were all welded in place.  We noticed a number of plastic bags had been left hooked on the railings beside the canal and assume some public spirited local citizen has been leaving them for others to dispose their rubbish.

There was a lack of litter so this appears to be a successful strategy.  The local authorities have gone to some expense to make the area look nice but there is an obvious lack of “official” rubbish bins.

There are mooring rings just beyond bridge 9.  If you cross over the canal using Bridge 9 there is a footpath down to the big Tesco.  It is also a retail park and we made the trip to revisit Decathalon.  This time Jan did buy the heavy down jacket.  I think it’s a bargain at £29.99.  The jacket isn’t waterproof so Jan will have to wear her lightweight raincoat over it.

We must have passed through an ethnic Indian or middle eastern area as the bred for the ducks had changed shape.

Jan was rather proud of her photo of the lights under the bridge although we noted a number of them required new bulbs.

There are at least three locations between Hawkesbury Junction and Coventry where there are residential moorings.  These looked to be squeezed in.

I remembered the curved pedestrian footbridge from last time we came this way (2005).  Actually it’s one of the few things I do remember about this part of the canal. Winking smile

And now we are moored in the basin.  Last time I failed to wind and got myself into all sorts of strife.  This time it went much easier.


Navelmonster said...

Hi Tom and Jan

It's only if you were children in NZ or OZ that you wouldn't know we watched and loved Skippy as kids here in the UK. Along with Flipper, Lassie, Daktari and others.
Nice blog keep up the good work.

WB Cinnamon Girl

Tom and Jan said...

And now your children have to suffer from "Neighbours"! :-)