Saturday, 13 June 2009

Narrowboat Cut-Offs and Dressing Up

The Ashby is a beautiful canal. It has the same rural unspoilt charm as the Fens, but boy, is it shallow.

I lost count of the times we ran aground, passing boats coming the other way.

In addition, we don't cruise that fast and a few "speedy gonzales" wanted to get past us.

Rather than have them hassle me by sitting on my stern, I tend to pull to one side on a straight and wave them past.

I favour staying to starboard and letting them overtake on my port, big ship style, but every time I did it, we ran over a shoal and the boat tipped to port and we started to yaw.

I prefer this method, as it forces the overtaking boat on to the wrong side, so it's they who have the problem if anything comes the other way. This is a pretty normal nautical standpoint.

If they want to risk an overtaking manoeuvre, they have to bear the risk.  

Fed up with continually going aground, I tried another way, I went over to port, hugged the deep water of the towpath and waved the overtaking boat along my starboard side.

As soon as we did this, another boat, a hire boat this time, came towards us through a distant bridge hole. Seeing Willawaw on the wrong side, they were fazed. My two short blasts on the horn did nothing for them. In the end, we reverted to hand signals and they passed green-to-green looking confused until we were able to explain verbally. 

We passed through Charity Dock. I've never seen a crazier place.

Dressed mannequins, the cabin cut off a narrowboat, on the top of a pile of scrap at a strange angle and this old working boat.

She's all wood, but no sign of a name.

Any ideas ?  

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