Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The coal man cometh..

On the move again today. We’ve spent three days moored above Derwent Mouth Lock, visited by Carol and Sealey (the dog) a couple of times. We’ve not seen her for over a year, so it was good to catch up. She lives on her boat at Shardlow with Sealey and Reg the cat.

It’s got to that time of year when I like to get a load of coal on board, just in case the wood foraging doesn’t go very well.
We’ve used a coal merchant from Melbourne (that’s Derbyshire not Victoria!) before, so I gave him a call and he’ll deliver to us at Swarkestone tomorrow.
So today we pulled pins and headed into Shardlow.

Fringe–cut willow
Through Shardlow

Clock Warehouse just below Shardlow Lock

We had a curious incident at Shardlow Lock. As we arrived a boat was in the lock ready to come down. I tied up and waited for them to empty and leave the lock.
As they motored past I gave them a good morning, but the reply was unexpected; a sarcastic “Thanks for helping with the lock”. I was taken aback. Bearing in mind that there were three of them on board, one of whom spent the lock operation stood on the roof while another managed the gates and paddles, I considered any assistance unnecessary. And by the time we were secured on the landing, they’d already drawn the paddles and were emptying the lock. I guess he got out of bed on the wrong side this morning.
As Mags will witness, I’m more likely to help other folk, than let them struggle.

We shared this lock with a Canaltime hire out of Sawley, then caught up with another and went up Aston Lock with them. Both times elementary lock operation instructions were the order of the day.
By the time we reached Weston we’d lost our last lock companion (he’d probably finished up on a mud bank somewhere) and there were boats waiting to come down, so we did this one solo.

Then finally at Swarkestone Lock we arrived behind yet another Canaltime, just as the lock was vacated by a boat coming down.

In Swarkestone Lock
We shared this one, then pulled over on the visitor moorings before the lengthsman’s cottage above the lock. Carol’s Mum and Dad used to live here when he worked for BW.

The local coal merchant will be delivering to us here sometime tomorrow.

Why did we not cruise during the last days of fine weather? Well, I’ve not been idle.

Old door linings

New door liningsNow that’s better

And I finished and fitted the occasional table in the cratch. You can just see it folded up through the doors in the above photos…..

Here it is in “working” position.

That’s about it for pre-winter jobs. I could just do with slapping some black paint on the scratches below the gunwhales, but I’ll have to play that by ear. Not only do I need suitable weather for that, but also a low bank.

I bet they’ll be some celebrations in Copiapo, Chile tonight. After over 8 weeks trapped 2000 feet underground, the first of the miners saw daylight today. A heroic achievement on the part of the rescue team and the miners themselves.

Locks 4, miles 6½

No comments: