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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Some people need to get off the cut!

My blood boiled today. Not because of the temperature outside but because of a certain moron who had no respect for other boaters. What happened was this. I approached Hillmorton bottom locks, dropped Ian off by the water point and carried on towards the lock. I was then informed that a queue of boats were waiting to ascend, No problem I would just hang back. On arrival two boats were moored just off the lock landing and two boats were waiting one either side of the lock. Again not a problem as I could breast up and wait by one of the moored boats. All went fine, two exited the lock out and the two waiting went in in. Then it was my turn. Again all went according to plan and up I went. A volunteer lock keeper was on duty and a very good job she did to. I came out of the lock and noticed the boat that had left before me was reversing back through the bridge 'ole. This baffled me but I kept slowly going and finally 'that' boat pulled forward. I then went into the bridge 'ole and much to my horror 'that' boat in front started reversing again. Suddenly he saw me and edged forward but not enough for me to leave the bridge. So, there was I blocking the bridge hole, boats were coming up behind and I knew from Ian's hand gestures that two boats were coming down the lock. The idiot in front ( I was starting to get cross now so my language will probably get worse) reversed again but this time jumped off his boat, grabbed his center rope and rapped it round a post by the hedge thereby blocking the towpath to any walkers! Now I was really baffled and asked him if he was mooring. He said no, he was waiting for the lock. I couldn't believe it. This was not a hirer but a private boat owner. I then, in no uncertain terms, told him to move nearer to the lock so I could get in behind and clear the bridge. His reply was he couldn't as he had nowhere to tie up to. I looked toward the lock landing and in full view was a bollard ready and waiting for a rope to be tied to it!  Now I was beginning to get really really mad and told him to move forward cause I was blocking the bridge 'ole and stop at the lock landing. He shouted for me to keep my hair on, untied and move forward but still not enough. He just wouldn't tie up to the bollard! So in desperation I  started edging up to to him. Then one of the boats exiting the middle lock came round the corner. This was a hirer and instead of turning hard right to miss me, just kept going. I expect she was as panicked to see two boats blocking her way as I was seeing a collision in the making. She had no idea what to do. So here is the scenario. This idiot of a moron was on my right and no where near the bank let alone the lock landing, me with my bow up his backside  and my stern sticking just out of the bridge ole, and a hirer heading straight for me. I completely lost it. Told the b**stard on his boat AJAX  ( yes you if your reading this) to f' ing move forward and if you couldn't even get off the boat to tie to a bollard to allow other boats to come in behind at a lock, you shouldn't own a boat let alone try and handle one! Now I never swear normally but I couldn't believe his 'I want to do it my way and blow anyone else' attitude. To avoid a collision I had to reverse back nearly through the bridge ole much to the annoyance of those behind and then do a sharp left just so the hirer could come in between. We did miss each other but it was no thanks to that pillock. He just continued into the now open lock without another word to me. If I ever EVER meet him again much stronger language will be used and that's a promise.

Waiting at the bottom of Hillmorton with THAT boat on the left.

He just wouldn't move forward onto the lock landing. I'm trying to tuck in behind.

Reversing back so the hire boat can come in between. Notice the idiot had to move to bank side and has power on to get into the now open lock!
Rant for the day over, I should say the journey to Hillmorton was good but busy. More boats have passed us today then at any other time since starting on our journey. Newbold tunnel used to have a spectacular light display. Now its all a bit pathetic really.

Only two lights left.

Meeting these swans just before the exit. Wonder how many times the Pen and Cob has brought the cygnets through.
We stopped at Rugby to do a Tesco shop and after setting off reached Hillmorton around 3ish. The usual moorings at the top of the locks were full so we have finally found a mooring past the bridge. I am now sitting down with a low alcohol beer  (I find Kaliber very refreshing) and trying to calm down and chill out.


KevinTOO said...

Ditch the low alcohol beer Irene, you deserve a fair few vodkas after being so vexed today... :)

I think your language was quite refined given the circumstances... LOL

Just think how boring the canl would be without the occasional oddball charachter ;)

Kevin xx & Harry xx

James said...

Hi Mrs J

Think we may have met him earlier in the year at Hillmorton. We waited an hour in the snow for him to wind at the bottom of the locks, he just kept blin back and forth, and there was no wind that day.



Tyson said...

I sympathise with you. We have been hirers for ten years and mostly love the people we meet but sometimes are amazed at folk’s stupidity. This year, after going through Bascote bottom lock, we noticed that hire boat ‘Jim’ from Kate boats was approaching so, leaving the bottom gates open we headed for the bridge. Just as we were entering, ’Jim’ sped up. We were actually stopped under the bridge before the boat hit us, crashing us into the bridge. The other steerer said, ‘There should be some rule about this’. I told there was and he had just broken it. ‘Oh, he said, I sped up to get to the lock before anyone else’!

Best wishes


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