18 January 2019

Some becoming routine and some new horizons

by: Myron

Wednesday saw the Boat Team fielding three full crews again.

Goliath went through Ryeford locks to carry out a few tasks down towards Stonehouse way. All were completed successfully.

Margaret moved a hopper and then the crew joined the Weedie crew at Dudbridge.  Here, we were happy to find Delilah at the top of the locks, but waited with trepidation for Weedie to come into the pound.  Would it get passed.  It did, easily.  Then with Weedie and Margaret moored up at Wiggals Yard, the two crews set about seeing how far up the canal we could get Delilah in the rest of the day.
Did I mention that Weedie has been brought down to be able to work on fitting the new mesh, which incidentally arrived at WD yesterday.  We hope to do this at the landing stage at Stonehouse Court, where the large flat field right next to the landing stage makes a perfect working area.  Also, Delilah needs to go in the other direction to join up with Samson, which will play a big part in what is effectively change of gender for Delilah, specifically fitting the new crane to it.  Can we really continue to call her Delilah once this is completed.  Have too, as its unlucky to rename a boat while it’s in the water.  Maybe we can nickname it Delboy. There’s another thing, boats being ‘she’.  Not very PC but a fifty foot barge called Samson with a great crane on it, is not the most feminine of images.  Goliath has a similar gender problem in my mind.  I think I’ll just have to settle on calling the boats in our fleet ‘it’.
Anyway, Samson is currently moored just below Griffin Mill lock, so that’s where we had to get Delilah.  This was new territory for it, and quite a daunting prospect, as we would have to bow haul all the way.  This is never the Boat Team’s favourite pastime.   I believe the furthest Delilah has been before was just through foundry lock, but I might be wrong.  The task progressed really well, except for the fact that it started to rain steadily around twelve o’ clock.  It was a bedraggled crew that arrived above Wallbridge mid afternoon.  We’d made excellent progress, so we called it a day and invaded the Heritage Centre for a late lunch and a warm up.  They didn’t mind at all.  It was still raining when we came out, and we still had the walk back to Weedie and Margaret, which then had to be driven back to base and put away.  A very successful day all round.
Thursday found the weather dry and sunny, albeit cold.   Five of us met up, ably assisted by David from the Landing Stage Team.  We were soon on our way, hoping to finish by lunchtime.  Unfortunately, one of our number became quite unwell at Capel’s Mill.  He became dizzy and was really out of it for a good few minutes.  The most expedient way to get him to hospital, was for his wife to pick him up.  I’m very , very glad to say that he checked out ok.  But it was a salutary reminder that we all need to be looking out for each other.
After this set back we resumed the journey East, ‘there be dragons there’.  The twists and turns around Capel’s Mill were actually great fun to negotiate.  Bowbridge lock was a new experience for us, and then Delilah was finally reunited with Samson. The final task was to get Delilah passed Samson. This was so the crane on Samson is up against the right end of Delilah where we want the crane fitted. This was achieved without any great bother. Before setting off back, we had a discussion with Alan to map out what jobs needed doing first on getting the crane fitted.  Anybody good with an angle grinder.  The walk back to the cars was so much more pleasant than the day before, finishing off a very satisfying couple of days