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Thursday, February 23, 2006

MAIDEN VOYAGE





Woke up this morning to snow, not settling but a mini blizzard at times. Nothing was going to stop our first trip after being moored at the marina 10 days since taking over the boat. Most of this time had been spent loading possesions and shopping for bits and bobs like towel rail waste bin etc, those of you who have taken on a new build will know what we mean.
Anyway about 10.30 snow or not we were going and we did. Caste off and drifted across to the towpath side ready to enter our first lock at winkwell. Good job we drifted where we wanted as we could get no drive and after 5 mins of headscratching realised the f`ward/reverse control had a lift up to engage the drive, i was probably told all this but so much going into my brain at once i forgot. So off we go i set the lock opened 1 gate and SUE steered NB SELEUS into her 1st lock clean as a whistle didn`t touch the sides. Cleared the lock only to find winkwell bridge out of action and had to phone BW to send a crew out to open it by hand. This will be the case utill repairs are carried out on the 27th so be warned.
Several locks later entered Berkhampstead and dived into a pub "The Boat" and sat by the fire with 2 cups of hot coffee, yes i know pubs sell beer but we needed to have our wits about us on this our maiden voyage. Anyway fell out the pub 30mins later intoxicated by the warmth of the open fire and followed the ARGUS coal and diesel boat through the next lock, she was two abreast loaded with coal and soon stopped to service the needs of boats moored so we went past and decided to stop outside Waitrose for some nice crusty bread and use the cash machine.
Wish we hadn`t as when we came to caste off--nothing. Forwards backwards--nothing. Now remember this is the maiden voyage of 2 virgin boaters. So plenty of water movement when forward engaged so i thinks prop is revolving but just in case have a look down the weedhatch, ok be honest how many of you are laughing. Prop clear so i think are we aground, rocked the boat and it seemed fine so i phoned Phil the builder as he said phone and he will be with us if we get into bother- what us!-get in bother! You lot must be hysterical by now. Anyway he established on the phone after a few questions that we had run aground slightly at the very front end, but i knew that just testing him wasn`t i.
Off we go through the next lock and off i go to set the next one SUE doing a great job as captain only to find it padlocked. Seems they are locked by BW t about 5pm because of vandalism. OK no problem we will stay here the night. Tied up and put the tv aerial up when a chap comes along and says that the very short pound we are moored in quite often drains overnight so i pulled the boat back the short distance through the last lock and moored on the much longer pound below and that everyone is where we are blogging this and laughing i am sure as much as you. But we are happy and warm and had a hot meal and will not be waking up for work in the morning. Long post to-night but it has been quite a day.
Now you`ve laughed with us please leave some comment we do so appreciate it.

4 comments:

Andy (les's son) said...

Oh dad we did laugh but hey only a couple of virgins would go out and play while its snowing and minus 15,anyway the summer will be here soon and they will be the best times to get the most from your new toy....take care and if you get snowed in ill send jack and jordan to dig you out.

Maffi said...

Hi Les

Looking good (the boat that is).

Enjoy!

Added Selus to http://narrowboater.blogspot.com/

Chas and Ann said...

If you think you are not moving with the prop pushing water then try going backwards to get off the mud. Every day you will learn something new.

Sue said...

I smiled!!

Agree with Chas and Ann, you learn something new everyday. Today I learned not to leave my other half at the last lock to help NB Moore2Life through. I stopped to moor, jumped off with the centre rope and had to hold NP with a high wind blowing off the towpath for about 15 minutes till help arrived to grab front and back ropes!! ;)

Love the pics.. well done you both xx

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs