Saturday, March 22, 2008

Yesterday was Good Friday, though there wasn’t much good about it from our point of view! We woke with the intention of heading to the moorings at Drakehole Tunnel, but the strong winds made us doubt whether it would be advisable to go anywhere. I was not too keen on staying where we were, and today’s forecast was worse, so I said we’d move on anyway.

We got off our mooring and away with no trouble, but Carol got caught in a crosswind as soon as she cast off, and was blown across the canal towards some permanent moorings. As she struggled to get back into the channel a boat came up from the basin, made no effort to wait till she sorted the boat out, and consequently ran into her stern! Then he said he couldn’t stop to talk because of the strong wind!

Although Corbiere is a tough boat, the impact was enough to bend the frame which protects the rudder blade, stopping use of the tiller and effectively making the boat unsteerable.

While all this was going on we’d got up to the first lock, and were waiting on the lock landing. A call from Carol told me what had gone on, so I held the other boat up in the lock (he’d followed us to the lock) while Carol made Corbiere safe and walked up to see him. Insurance details exchanged (along with a few harsh words), and he went on his way while we walked back to see if we could sort out the damage and at least make the boat usable.

A 10 foot scaffold pole (borrowed from Stockwith lock) proved inadequate to lever the frame back into position, so we had to unbolt the entire assembly and remove it to free the rudder.

We met up again at the lock, and decided that we wouldn’t go so far after all, as we’d already lost 2 hours.

So we went up the 2 locks at Misterton, and we found a spot near the edge of the village. Carol decided to press on though, and finished up at Drakeholes after all. It was a rough trip, the morning had been fine, but rain moved in on the wind in the PM and she was chilled to the bone by the time she’d stopped. She had company on the last stretch as Sonja and her daughter Laura were waiting near Bridge 78, so at least she was able to share her discomfort.

Up through Misterton Low Lock. Don’t be fooled by Carol’s smile, she was fuming!
Carol knows “a man that can” in Worksop who should be able to repair the stern frame. It’ll be easier now it’s off.

We had a bit of a rough night with the wind rocking the boat, and awoke to horizontal snow!
We decided to carry on to Drakeholes anyway, so, after a quick trip to the handy Co-op in the village, were on our way.
The trip was “challenging” in the wind, and we suffered a couple of squally snow showers, but all in all not too bad. The 2 locks we worked were hard, though.
This canal is similar to the Ashby. Mainly rural so far, shallow at the edges with limited opportunities for mooring (as Carol found out yesterday). It’s quite pleasant, and I hope the weather is better on the way back so we can enjoy the journey instead of fighting the tiller to keep in the channel…

Disused Brickworks Drakeholes Tunnel, South Portal.
Mooring at Drakeholes

And the bent protection frame. At least it did it's job and prevented damage to the rudder.

Locks 4, miles 6 (both days)

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