Saturday, 20 September 2008

Messing about on boats.............

Returned yesterday, after 4 days on the Oxford canal. The trip was best summed up by one of the 'crew' who described it as extended periods of calm and tranquility, interspersed with moments of fear and sheer panic.

The calm and tranquil bits saw us gliding smoothly along the canal, listening to the birds, watching for fish jumping, catching sight of the occasional kingfisher skimming across the water and generally enjoying a slower pace of life.

The sheer panic bits saw us heading for the canal banks and other boats, with at least four of the six of us shouting 'REVERSE!' at whoever was unlucky enough to be the helmswoman at the time. We all had our 'moments' of this.

We unlocked the mysteries of locks and despite the sheer physical hard work of winding paddles up and down, heaving heavy lock gates open and closed and trying not to look down into the stygian depths of some of the deeper locks, we did get the hang of it.


Small dog was in her element. Whether sat in the bow, sniffing the breeze, watching for oncoming boats (which almost always had another dog on board), 'helping' with the locks, or striding out along the towpath, she had a fabulous time, and ended each day absolutely exhausted and stretched out in the galley, while the 'crew' celebrated yet another day of avoiding watery disaster by eating in style and drinking gallons of chilled white wine.

The trip took us all out of our comfort zone which in my opinion is a very Good Thing. As it was my idea, and everyone seems still to be talking to me, I would judge it to be a success.

So here for your delectation and delight are some of our best bits..............

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