A Good Days Work
Wednesday, the Boat Team was out in force again. The day started well with a fly past by four swans, parents teaching their young to fly I think. So, the five of us got the two tugs ready and motored up to the confluence weir, where we readied Samson for a day of dredging. Once we had her in position being held by Goliath, we started up the crane, and as we pulled up the first bucket, a serious oil leak was apparent. Fortunately it turned out to be only a loose union and all was well once we had tightened it. Work then commenced in earnest.
Then a couple of us took Margaret down to Ryeford to shift some hoppers. Collectively, the Boat Team is still quite inexperienced when it comes to moving hoppers for real, but we get there in the end, and I’m sure we will get much better at it after several months of action. One thing there is always a lot of help when we go down to Ryeford.
Once we had the mud hoppers where they were needed we went back to Ebley. I could hear the engine for the hydraulic pump engine clattering away so all seemed well there. The next job was to do the final adjustments and checks on Weedie. I dropped a couple of crew there and took Margaret up to Samson to join in the fun there. Incidentally, the guys and gals working on the ballast for Patricia seemed pretty positive with the way things were going. Weedie went out for a trial run and all was found to be satisfactory.
About another couple of hours dredging saw us finish the section around the confluence weir, and with that we finished our months loan of Samson We could have done more, could have done less. It was a great exercise, strengthened some friendships, weakened others unfortunately; learned a lot. A massive thanks to all the Boat Team who rallied to the cause, I hope you had fun. Also massive thanks to Alan and his team for letting us use Samson and to Peter for seeing the benefits of the exercise and giving us the go ahead. It has been well worth it. We no longer have to climb the Himalayas at the confluence weir, under Hilly Orchard bridge and around Oil Mills bridge as well. We have made a good stretch of our canal much more navigable and significantly safer.
What now for Samson. We are due to start moving it up to Bowbridge for the Piling Gang to use on their next landing stage, but you’ll probably have heard that Dudbridge Lower lock is in a sorry state and passage through is currently uncertain. Anybody got an ideas what we might do with a great big barge with a crane on it?