Now for my next heading. The boat following us arrived at the same time as the lone boater coming out of the lock . He again asked if the next lock had been left open and with a resounding 'no' from the other boaters he went on his way chuntering to himself. We all had a bit of a discussion on leaving gates open and they were of the same opinion as us. Close them! We then shared every lock with Nb Mea Culpa until we moored up below Horton lock near Slapton.
We found out their names, Brian and Joyce, and nicer couple you could'nt hope to meet. Although they had been cruising for a number of years previously, the past three years they had been tied to the NHS and with this there first outing both had to get their hand in, so to speak. At Horton lock ( our last lock of the day) Brian was trying to come in behind me on the landing. He threw the center rope, which was tied to a ring in the middle, for Joyce to catch. She started heaving on the rope and unbeknown to both of them, had caught on something on their roof. The rope suddenly came free and Joyce fell with an almighty thud onto her back with her head hitting the ground hard. I rushed over and told her to stay still while grabbing the center rope for Brian. This was taken from me as another gentleman appeared and pulled Brian in. Joyce lay there for a while obviously quite dazed but then managed to get up. Luckily no serious damage was done other then hurt pride and a possible headache. So from this incident I wonder if single center ropes are wise. Flicking it over from side to side could create its own problems. We have two ropes attached to the center with fairleads holding the ropes in position. This means whatever side the towpath is on, a rope is always to hand. I do know of one old school boater who wont have a center rope at all! Instead he depends on lassoing the bollard at a lock and driving the front end in. Quite how that works when mooring up is beyond me but it seems to work for him. I'd be interested to hear of other boaters views on the subject.
|Fairlead positioned either side.|
|Whipsnade White Lion on Dunstable Down. Visible from our mooring|
|All alone but not for long. Soon the stretch of towpath was full with moored boats.|
|Glider ready for release|
|Any idea what this duck is?|