Sep 20 2007, 05:16 PM
it's virtually impossible with my hour and a half commute and the nights rapidly closing in.
I was determined that I would move the boat down a bit, to the bottom of the lock. Last weekend, running out of time I hurriedly moored up opposite a weir. There the boat has stayed despite me not enjoying being opposite a weir entrance. It has a good barrier but I just don't like it. especially since my mooring pins don't hold so good no matter where I try to drive them in.
I set about moving the boat as dusk was rapidly falling.
Engine on, dog hot on my heals as I jogged down to the lock to get it turned around.
one of the paddles is out of action so it's slow filler. I trotted back to the boat and started pulling the pins. The wind was blowing quite hard so I chose not to push the boat too far from the edge and try to crawl on tick-over. Bow hauling is tricky as there are quite a few trees in the way.
It was getting quite dark now and as the boat ticked over it also started to lean over and I heard the familiar sound of sandy mud cleaning the weed off the bottom by the swim. The wind is starting to take the front end round and is threatening to point me in the direction of the weir while the back end was stuck fast on the bottom. Bugger 'o bugger 'o.
Reverse... nothing happens. reverse a bit more... nothing happens. reverse with a a bloody good push off the bank with the boat hook and she slowly starts to reverse off the bottom. By now its pretty much lights out from Mr sunshine and the water is looking blacker than the duke of hells waist coat. It's at this time I find the water a little bit intimidating. I've never liked open water in the dark. It gives me the heeby jeebies.
So I put my stereo on quite loud and started to sing along with "smooth" fm. Nothing like a bit of singing to calm my nerves and scare any possible water-borne attackers off.
I pulled up at the first set of bollards and decided to "sod this for a game of solo soldiers" and do the lock first thing in the morning. At which point a bright light came slowly into view. Another boating family were cruising in the dark arriving just in time as the lock was ready.
I've now pulled a muscle in my side and hurt my back opening and closing the heavy lock gates. Why are the locks so hard to use on the River Lee?