No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Me & Ewe "Baa"

Monday 20th September 2010
Fenny Compton to Lower Shuckburgh
13.5 Miles 9 Locks

As the first Lock was 7 miles away I started off this morning leaving Jayne in bed, as I said in the previous blog this section is the Summit level, we came up the locks yesterday and today we will be going down so the summit level is being drained from both ends, to try and keep the water at a usable depth it has to be fed from a reservoir, the level today was about 6 inches down on the normal level and the boats were churning up the bottom resulting in water that looked like muddy soup.
Jayne was up and brought me a cup of tea, the sun was shining but it was very windy in the exposed areas, we passed fields with Tractors ploughing and other fields full of Sheep, after we had covered about 5 miles I spotted something in the water ahead, as we got closer I could see it was a sheep that had fallen in and had no chance of getting out on it's own, due to the steel piling that  was running along the canal edge, it was made worse by the water level being down. We have seen dead sheep in the canal before so knew what would happen if we left it, I slowed the boat almost to a stop and called Jayne on our walkie-talkies that we use, to say that there was a sheep in the water that was going to need a bit of help, as we approached the sheep I took off my Fleece jacket and jumped in, we were only about 3 feet from the bank so it wasn't very deep, I got hold of Sheepy ( it had a name by now ) and tried to lift/push it up onto the field, well, how heavy is a sodden Sheep?, short answer, very, in the picture I have got it's front legs over the edge of the piling, expecting it to try and pull itself up while I pushed but we had a bit of a communication problem and it did nothing, after one final failed attempt I decided that I needed to get Sheepy about 60 feet along the canal to where the metal piling finished and the bank was a bit lower, so off we went, all the time Sheepy was very calm, eventually with a lower bank and a very big heave I managed to roll it up onto the field, it repaid me by shaking itself and trotting off back to it's mates.

I said you pull and I'll push but nothing happened.

By now the boat was diagonal across the Canal, I climbed out of the water onto the bank and then onto the boat, steered it to the first suitable mooring spot, tied it up and stripped off, straight into the shower with my tee shirt, jeans, socks and boxers into the washing machine, my trainers were due for the rubbish bin anyway so that's where they went.

Things calmed down after that and after a quick stop for Lunch we tackled the last 7 of the Napton Flight of Locks, again all the Locks were in our favour and to make things even easier there were boats coming  through the locks in the opposite direction so we could leave gates open for each other, we stopped at the last lock to fill with water and empty cassettes.

Napton on the Hill with it's Windmill

The Canal then curves around the base of Napton hill with it's windmill on top and past Napton junction were the Grand Union Canal leads off left to Warwick and then Birmingham, we carried straight on until we found a nice mooring for the night.

1 comment:

Halfie said...

I see I'm not the only one unafraid of the water! Great picture, Jayne.