Thursday, 7 May 2015

Got it slightly wrong

A walk to the local B&Q resulted in the purchase of a replacement telescopic pole for the TV aerial.  Two reasons for doing it today.  First, this B&Q was the only outlet in the general area that had this particular pole in stock.  Second, being Wednesday we OAP’s get a 10% discount on purchases.

After a quick lunch back on Waiouru I made the decision suggested we make use of the fine weather and get a couple of hours cruising completed.  On reflection that may not have been the best suggestion because within five minutes of departing the sky clouded over and it started to lightly rain. “Don’t worry dear, it will pass over and I can see brighter sky in the distance!”   Well the bright sky passed around us and the heavens opened to dump a sizeable amount of liquid sunshine.  There was no point in both of us getting saturated and feeling miserable.  Jan hasn’t returned to full health so I sent her inside suggested she go inside and keep dry.

At Ponders End one lock is electric and the other manual.  We entered the electric lock only to find it wasn’t working.  Fortunately a CRT employee was present and he had access to the control panel.  He managed to activate the control panel enabling us to get through the lock with finger pressing.  Thank you CRT!

It was really pelting down when we reach Stonebridge Locks.  The lock was against us, so I moored Waiouru on the lock landing leaving Jan inside.  When I reached the lock I found a solo boater on a wide beam boat attempting to come up.  After assisting him up we got Waiouru into the lock and Jan again used her fingers to work the boat down.  She must have powerful connections because the rain stopped during this period.   It started raining almost immediately after we left. 

Our last lock for the day was at Tottenham Locks. Again the lock was against us.  As I was attempting to let Jan alight a powerful gust of wind pushed us diagonally across the face of the lock.  Eventually Jan was able to get off and fill the lock.  She worked Waiouru down and reboarded below the lock.  That’s when things got tricky.  As we pulled away from the lock landing something totally fouled the prop.  No forward or reverse meant no steerage.  The wind was blowing us across the river towards a moored yoghurt pot.  I had to strip down to my y fronts in the driving wind and rain (well it felt like I’d gone that far) and ly on the wet deck to dive down the weed hatch.  Meanwhile Jan went to the bow to prevent us cracking the tupperware.  Groping around in the weed hatch I discovered we had an enormous ball of fine green weed and the remains of several urban jellyfish all tightly wound around the prop.  Frantic ripping and heaving cleared enough from the prop to get us some steerage.  By then we had drifted 180° facing back the way we had come.  I needed to wind (turn) the boat and the only area was where we had previously collected the weed.  I commence the turn only for a canoeist to appear and then stop immediately in from of our bow.  The wind was blowing us sideways and I had to go frantically into reverse to avoid a collision.  You guessed it……..  more weed around the prop and limited steerage.  I completed the turn using the bow thruster, but in doing so I appear to have also fouled it with weed.  

There was a long line of boat between the lock and Hackney Marsh.  We might have managed to moor If only they hadn’t left a 20ft gap between boats.  This area was almost vacant when we passed this way going north.  I guess they have all been moved out of Victoria Park and Little Venice.  We finally found a vacant spot and moored.  Feeling cold, wet and rather sorry for making the earlier decision to move I ruled out any immediate attempt to clear the prop and bow thruster.  They can wait for a better day.

No photos as it was so miserable! 

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