Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Close Encounters of the Bridge Kind

Sunshine's captain was back in holiday mode this morning so shortly after leaving Newbold we were tying up at Rugby and, as it was still before 0930 - bus pass time, walking into town.
I'm not a big fan of coffee shops,  but the captain is and he prefers Costa on the grounds that unlike some coffee chains they do pay tax. Mind you, this is from a man who yesterday declared 20% propulsion on his Red diesel (although to be fair the boatyard firstly assumed it would be 0% "like all the other boaters round here!")
When we eventually got away from Rugby the main excitement of the day came at Bridge 69. It's an established procedure on the Cut that when two boats approach a bridge hole the one nearest has priority and the other holds back. The steerer of "Atlantis" either doesn't know this or thinks that because he has a bigger boat (or something)  that he can just carry on. But one of the advantages of having an older and "well-travelled" boat is that you don't have to let yourself be bullied so Bernard kept his nerve - and his course.
Bridge 69 is wide enough for two boats to pass as long as both steerers slow down and take care,  but Atlantis' steerer didn't do either and as Bernard had right on his side neither did he!  The result was an inevitable coming together: both boats got through but only after a few bangs and scrapes. This seemed to upset said steerer who let off a stream of profanities and abuse and who was still doing so even when his boat was clear of the bridge and had failed to take the turn and rammed the bank. Cue more profane language and even some jumping up and down!!

After that it was a peaceful run through Braunston and on to Napton where we arrived just half an hour too late to go up the flight of locks, which is open under restricted hours during the work to repair a collapsed wall part way up. At least that gave us an early finish and and excuse to visit the Folly Inn, which is anything but,  doing good food and pretty decent Hook Norton ale.

No comments: