Jun 15 2007, 10:05 AM
A quick canal plan search shows that its around 50 miles from where we are at the moment and a couple of days solid cruising, so I think we will take our time over two or three weekends.
Tonight we shall commence with putting my dinghy on the roof and talk to our neighbour who was asking if we could give her a tow down the canal a bit. Initially I was a bit worried about towing someone as I've never done that before, but she seems like a nice girl and Id like to help her out if I can. However I hope this wont add ammunition to our already busy argumentative schedule.
When moving our boat I think the diesel consumption and engine wear and tear is the cheapest part of it all, the cost to my sanity and central nervous system can often be immense.
I anticipate a calm and serene first five minutes, followed by the first grump of the day from Him if I forget to remind him to tweek the stern gland after he's checked the oil level. I am perfectly capable of doing these things myself but I think when he does them it makes him feel more usefull and manly.
The next grump will come when I make him wait while I either get dressed, remove the mooring pins or tidy the ropes.
The first lock is the next stumbling block as I comment on how far back the boat is and that there is four meters in front of the boat and only 50cm to the cill.... at this point there is a chance He will get the hump because he thinks I don't trust him.
The following few locks will be better because we will now probably not be talking to each other and will have instead reverted to using hand signals.
The first beers are opened by Him around this time and I put a few coins in the swear box.
A few hours will pass like this, six or seven beers later and the grump will gradually wear off, instead of hiding inside faffing with his iPod, itunes or internet he might surface and be cheerful for a while and we can talk codshite for quite a while happily sitting on the back together. Until, that is I am unable to pass close enough to an over hanging tree with some brightly coloured fishing float/s stuck in it. so that he can't retrieve it ( he collects this kind of shit you see)
A small grump will follow for a few minutes, followed by another beer for him and another coin in the swear box from me and all is well again.
Mooring up is the final hurdle although there can be other complications such as hanging the washing outside to dry. If I get this wrong all hell can break loose and there may be large amounts of paper money being bundled into the swear box in advance and He may fish out his cigarettes in a threatening way.
Since smoking is the last resort for Him, short of being completely drunk on Rum, this is often the end of all communication for several hours.
He will return from his smoking frenzy looking sheepish and offer to light a barbeque. Where food and cooking is concerned we are on the home run and rarely does anything go wrong at this point. A bottle of wine is consumed to help adjust the ballast on the boat and merry making and giggles ensue until unconscious under a duvet. Ear plugs become mandatory due to loud drink/cigarette induced snoring.
There endeth a fine days cruising.
cost of one days cruise:
12-18 bottles of beer
1/4 litre of either pastis or Rum
3 or 4 cigarettes
an average of 34 swear words per hour at 10p each
a few flakes of paint off the bow when the boat is temporarily abandoned amid a pre-lock arguement
9 litres of diesel