We had an offer from three friends to come and help with Hatton, how could we refuse….I’m not sure they really knew what they were letting themselves in for! We cast off at 8am, and only a couple of boats on the move, and where do we meet one, in the tunnel of course – I was glad Toby was steering. We were moored at the top of the flight in good time for the arrival of Chris, Anne-Marie and Simon.
A cup of tea, and some delicious homemade cake, and we were on our way. We worked the first three locks with another boat, the paddles just seem to go on and on and on!
We crossed paths with another boat coming up and got chatting to the lady who was from New Zealand, I thought I recognised her from somewhere. Then it clicked, they were moored in Stratford Basin last year when I fell in and they helped to pull me out. It was nice to meet them again on dry land.
Anne-Marie did a great job making sure we were fed and watered, we even had a choice of sandwich fillings which is novel, here is Anne-Marie relaying the menu.
We managed to moor up at the half way point, it took quite a bit of effort banging those pins in, we were determined and they were going in.
Chris had a go at helming, Toby said she’s the best student so far and picked it up far quicker than anyone else – we all held our heads in disappointment.
We decided to moor on the Saltisford Arm, we needed a pumpout and the nearest place on the main line is closed on a Monday, but Saltisford is open. I phoned ahead and they had space, we were to come down, wind and then reverse on to the mooring. We felt a bump and Oliver rocked as the stern was close to the offside as we came in. I pulled Oliver in and and we moored up in a lovely spot.
Maybe we should have called today ‘unlucky for some’ as it’s day 113. As we were reversing, we went into some tree roots which has pushed the rudder too far over and beyond the plate you can see in the picture, no amount of pulling on a rope would budge it, and the rudder is stuck. So it was another call to River Canal Rescue (RCR), nobody was free this evening, and they need someone with a dry suit as they’ll need to get in the canal so it will be tomorrow morning at the earliest. This is the second call out, the first thing they asked is if we wanted to upgrade our membership!
We all had dinner (and more delicious cake), Simon gave us a new windlass to replace Toby’s favourite windlass that I had left at the top of Wolverhampton flight. So we sign off in the hope that Oliver can be fixed tomorrow, I don’t think we’ll sleep well until it’s sorted.