Well, so far sitting still has seen much more excitement than cruising!
I was very happy to tie up near the woods yesterday as the wind had really started to get up. It increased in strength throughout the afternoon, so that by 4pm it was blowing a hooley. I had just taken Bon along the towpath when I saw a hire boat coming round the bend with the crew clearly struggling for control. As I watched, he lost it entirely and, missing my boat by a whisker, ploughed full speed into the Canal and River Trust boat moored behind me. Why CART insist on using nothing but blue string to secure their boats is beyond me but predictably all three strings snapped on impact setting the work boat free. The hire boat was blown into the bank with its stern having unnatural relations with my stern and its bow jammed up the chuff of the work boat.
I returned having watched them struggle for a bit and offered my help which was accepted with alacrity. I tried to steer them off backwards but the wind was too strong, so I eventually managed to manoeuvre their boat so that it was alongside mine and then told them to gun it for all they were worth. It is just as well I am getting my boat blacked on my return as I must have lost several coats of paint along the stern! They shot off like a cork out of a bottle and I turned my attention to the work boat. It didn’t look particularly damaged so I rescued some strands of string and retied the boat to the metal shuttering – a little further away from mine just in case!
The next morning Bonny and I went for our morning walk. With much trepidation I decided on a trust exercise and let her off the lead.
Here she is considering her options…
You can still just about see her as a spot in the distance
Waiting for me to catch up – trust justified!
These are the woods at Hopwas – beautiful even with no leaves yet on the trees…
And here is one of many pill boxes that line the banks of the Tame. Apparently they were worried about Germans using the rivers to invade during the Second World War
Much to my relief Bonny and I returned to the boat together. I made a cuppa and then sat outside while she mooched around the towpath and then settled down to meditate on the rabbits in the field.
All of a sudden her ears and tail shot up and she jumped to her feet. Fortunately I managed to grab her just as she started a bout of hysterical barking. Turning, I saw two horses approaching with riders. There is nothing in this world that Bonny is more scared of and she was beside herself. The horses didn’t look too impressed either, so I bundled her into the boat. Unfortunately she was struggling so much that I missed my footing and fell down the three steps into the boat, landing hard on my ankle. For one heart stopping moment I thought I had broken a second leg! But no, fortunately after the first shock of pain wore off, I found my ankle was just bruised. Bonny didn’t stop screaming with terror until about 15 minutes later!
So, that is the second day of our cruise. The weather is forecast to be wet and windy tomorrow and we are staying put so who knows what could happen!