Monday, 4 March 2019

Time for dry pursuits?

It was a lovely weekend to potter up the canal to Christleton for dinner at the Ring O Bells. The sun came out and flooded the boat with light; I took lots of interior pictures to show Great Haywood Boat Sales when we go to see them in the summer. 

It is with heavy heart that we have made the decision to finish our boating adventures this summer. We have enjoyed being on the water for seven years. Those years have flown but it's time for a change.

So we are relishing our last few excursions before she passes on to another owner (hopefully by end of June). However, after last night's shenanigans, I will be leaving a comprehensive set of health and safety guidelines. 

My perspective on the watery midnight adventure is that there was undue care and attention by a Captain who was in his cups. However, we should avoid the blame culture of modern times, legitious even, and concentrate on what we have learned:

1. Drink less Rose wine.
2. Exit the cratch before Mr Jones and ascertain whether the coast is clear viz cats and dogs.
3. Under no circumstances let him jump off first on a fully extended lead. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing especially when it encourages a new health and safety policy. The midnight dip was potentially much more dangerous than it first appears. Captain could so easily have knocked himself out - dragging himself and Jones under the water. I wouldn't have known anything was amiss. As it is, his screaming like a girl did reach my senses. (Although, rather worryingly no one else came to help and I didn't have the strength to pull him out). 

There followed a farce where I nearly ended up in the water too. I don't recommend trying to haul a waterlogged mammoth out of the freezing water. We once watched lifeboat crew on a training exercise to do just that and they were struggling. As it is I got away with a pulled shoulder muscle from lifting a soaking Mr Jones out with one hand. Even his 8.5 kg easily doubled with the water. He was shaking like a leaf when I finally fished him out. 

Our next trip will be an exciting one as the original Princess Lucy (now aged 8) has been promised a sleep over on the boat on our Easter trip to Chester. I will be watching her like a hawk given the dangers of those big double locks into Chester. And Jones will be wearing a canine life jacket at all times.

A Midnight Dip

With the benefit of hindsight, I would probably have done things differently: Possibly I should have despatched someone more sensible to take Mr. Jones for his bed-time wee-wee. First Mate perhaps? Possibly I might have taken less of the Porter?

It started well enough: hat, big boots, big heavy coat, dog on lead. We stepped out onto the jetty, and then it didn't go so well. Mr. Jones had found a cat somewhere near our bow, and gave chase. There was a big splash. He was in. At some point I tightened the extending lead and then I lost my footing, and I was in. I still had my end of the lead, but we were opposite sides of the bow.

There was now no noise from Mr. Jones, and weighed down with boots and coat I was struggling to get out. It was also deep, dark, and cold.

Luckily, through the fog of my specs, First Mate appeared and I suggested she took the lead and retrieved Jones. Meanwhile I managed to haul myself out using the bow rope and some (previously unknown) circus skills.

It was a damp end to the night, huddled around the fire in a bath towel, having antiseptic dabbed on my cuts - just like a naughty child.