Saturday, 6 April 2013

Just when you think you're home and dry....

We woke to a diamond last day on Lucy Belle. We were tied up in open countryside. As with most of the Macclesfield canal it is fairly shallow and mooring tight alongside can be difficult. However Jemma's new plank had the opportunity to be used in anger. We even opened the side hatch for the first time and the back cabin was dappled with sunlight. The ducks were very polite even when tempted by Hovis biscuits.

The cruising went smoothly as did the 2 swing bridges and 2 lift bridges. As we approached our mooring, a casual remark about it being an easy one to moor at, was ill timed. 

We went on to struggle for an hour trying to bring her alongside the jetty. The boat was beached and feet away from the landing. It was a good job our neighbour, the appropriately named 'Muddy Water' wasn't around as we doused their boat with months of silt. Lucy Belle just churned it all up but wouldn't shift. It took brute force and rope to get her near. 

Lucy Belle at Furness Vale
I suppose this might be because no one has been on that mooring for 6 months now, and she remains about a foot away from the tyres. I am hoping 'nature' will sort it out, but any advice (that does not involve waders) would be appreciated.

Jem had really started to settle in to life afloat in the last 2 days especially with no locks. She looked quite proud as walked up and down the gang plank. And she clearly enjoyed the ever changing tow path sniffs.  But she was upset by all the revving up and shouting. When we finally got the boat near enough to get a gang plank down, she slipped into the water and had to be pulled out. 

The unpredictability of boating will continue to keep us on our toes and, hopefully, Jem on all four paws.


Sarah said...

Wow, you made it.... Fantastic.
Our mooring is very silted up too, and we must getbround to sorting it out, because atbthe moment we can only tie Chertsey facing one way, which is a bit of a nuisance if you've just arrived back, and want to set off again, going the other way.

What people do - and I haven't tried it yet - is back the boat up to the silty obstruction, tie it up, and run it in gear. In theory this stirs up the silt and moves it away. But it does depend on a. having something secure to tie to, and b. the silt having somewhere to go. Alternatively back up to it and just keep shifting backwards and forwards. The trick is to use your prop to move the mud - or maybe ask Brian to back Alton in there and give it a bit!

Well done for making it. Can't wait to catch up!

Sarah said...

And please don't stop blogging!

Anonymous said...

god it must be very shallow to get you stuck. Perhaps enlist the help of the mooring provider as it is surely there responsibility to ensure you can moor in your allocated place except if you are Keith of course :) Very very well done. Perhaps we can celebrate if you come to the Erewash 'do'
+1 re blogging


Jemma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jemma said...

According to Brian of Alton, the Peak Forest and Macc canals are about 4 to 5 inches down (see his tweets from yesterday. 8th April at )

So not too worried about depth and boat seems to be moving about a little better.