Friday, 15 April 2011

Strimmer causes traffic jam on the Shroppie!

The strimming gang arrived at 08.30 prompting a mass exodus of boats from the visitor moorings at Wheaton Aston. Consequently I found myself in the middle of a convoy of three northbound craft, which briefly became a convoy of four until the boat behind dropped out.
The cut was much busier than yesterday with a steady stream of oncoming boats in ones and twos all the way north. At Plardiwick, just north of Gnosall, our northbound convoy met a southbound twosome at Bridge 37, which resulted in the two leading boats both running aground, having given too much room to the oncomers.
The convoy on Shelmore embankment
Almost within sight of Norbury Junction the leading boat made an ill-judged attempt to moor on Shelmore embankment that resulted in the centre-rope becoming wrapped around the prop and the boat broadside across the cut.
If your centre-rope can reach your prop then its too long!
I did offer to stop and help, but I think the crew were too embarrassed to accept. Instead, I carried on back to Norbury.
The journey home didn't go quite to plan as Arriva Buses has changed the timetable of the Gnosall to Stafford bus service and I haven't been able to get hold of a copy (the helpful leaflet rack at Stafford station having been removed in the interests of transport (dis)integration). So I just missed the bus at Gnosall and rather than wait half-an-hour for the next I elected to carry on with my folding bike to Stafford. The bus usually takes 18 to 20 minutes for this run but I made it in thirty-eight so that I not only arrived before the bus but also caught an earlier train, which in turn gave me time for a couple of pints in Crewe - and that wouldn't happen if  I was driving. (Although if I was driving I wouldn't have had to go via Crewe in the first place!).


Alf said...

If your centre-rope can reach your prop then its too long !
I disagree, if your centre-rope falls into the water & you fail to stop the prop then you are not paying enough attention to the task in hand ! Centre lines should be long enough to reach the bank if you are stranded. Mine is 15m on a 17m boat, never had any problems.

Starcross said...

Alf, I'd agree that anyone who allows any rope to foul the prop is not paying enough attention and the stern rope is always going to reach the prop, but having a centre rope long enough to do so as well seems to be tempting fate. Having a centre rope that would reach the bank isn't much of a benefit if you are single-handed: if necessary I would use the long shaft.