Weston on Trent to Great Haywood
Tilly was allowed to hold us up this morning. When she came home for the second time the door was firmly shut so that we could move. Not far today, which we were glad of as the temperature was very chilly. By the first lock my toes despite wearing heatholder socks were going numb.
As we pulled up to Hoo Mill Lock there was a boat coming up in it. Stepping off the boat I noticed that they had the gate paddle open but not the ground paddle. For those unfamiliar to boating you should open your ground paddle first until the water level reaches at least the cil before opening the gate paddle. The ground paddle lets water in under your boat, the gate paddle lets it in through the gate. So if the gate paddle is done first then there is a chance you could fill your boat with water which would end up sinking it, so great care should be taken.
Approaching the lock I wondered whether to mention about the paddle, but they may have been boating for 20 years and this is how they work locks. However the lady from NB Raven said very loudly to me, ‘This is our very first lock, ever!’ They had just bought the boat from Great Haywood an hour ago! They were nearing the top of the lock and hadn’t sunk their new acquisition. I very quickly told her about the paddles!
The chap at the helm asked if he was going an okay speed past the moored boats, maybe he should have been going a bit faster as he had little steerage. Once he picked his wife up we had to shout at him to put the tiller the other way to get off the side. They both had the biggest cheesy grins and Mrs Raven said she was really enjoying it after their first hour. It was one of those occasions where being in a flight of locks would have helped, as we could have shown them how to go down a lock with Lillian and then helped them up a few more trying to impart knowledge. I really hope they were still enjoying it later in the day as they have a mission to get to Harecastle Tunnel for Saturday morning.
A short distance on we started to cruise past Great Haywood Marina. We kept our eyes peeled as NB Large Marge has been moored here for the winter. No sign of them but when we rang they were accepting visitors and the kettle was already on as they had Ann-Marie and Dave on board from NB Legend.
It was great to see them again and catch up, there was plenty of banter about where we all plan to cruise this year. Would we have stalkers again for the summer?! All six of us sat round drinking plenty of tea and coffee whilst the afternoon disappeared. Jaffa sat in his cage occasionally making comment in the background, they still haven’t replaced the battery in their smoke detector!
The ladies had also very kindly acted as a postal address for us. Mick’s driving licence is about to run out and a new one had arrived at my brothers. So there was a big envelope waiting for us. Thank you. Not too sure how long we will be staying here, we tentatively arranged to meet up again tomorrow when Alison and Laura make the trek up to the Farm shop.
It was dark by the time we left and the lane leading back to the road has no lights. We had torches on our phones but hadn’t felt the need. A car was coming along towards us, it dipped it’s head lights and we moved over to the side to let it pass. Well that was the plan until I stepped off the rather thick tarmac unexpectedly and fell over. The lens came out of my glasses and my ankle wasn’t too happy. Mick helped me up along with the very handy fence. The chap asked if we might need a lift back to our boat, ‘No I’ll be fine, Thanks’. But then it felt like it might be a very good idea and it was! Thank you Steve for the lift.
Getting back in the boat was interesting and I have now been sat with my foot elevated with ice on it for several hours whilst Mick has done all the chores. I seem to have a second ankle appearing on top of the original one. We’ll see what it’s like in the morning before deciding what to do. Did NB Large Marge booby trap the road to make us stay longer? I wouldn’t put it past them!
2 locks, 3.1 miles, 1 hour of owning a boat, 2 cheesy grins, 2 slow to steer, 1 narrowboat hiding from us, 1 big envelope, 2 new boaters to us, 900kg of lamb, 2 much tea, 4 hours of chatting, 1 tasty neighbour, 1 dark walk booby trapped, 2 ankles on 1 foot, 1 perplexed Tilly.