Going on the Llangollen, I mean.

Wrenbury lift bridge

Wrenbury lift bridge (©Christine)

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great time, doing Hurleston Locks to Ellesmere (and back) with Andy and Christine on WRT 4. But there are way to many boats on the canal, it’s too shallow, and I can’t do the lift bridges.

Two of them

Two of them

And all these other boaters seem to be a bit weird.
Both WRTs are moored just at the beginning of the Ellesmere arm. WRT 4 starts early, reversing out. I’m not far behind them.
Just as my stern is almost under the bridge a hire boat comes around the corner, going into the arm, full speed, of course. Two women on the front, the men on the back.

By the time the guy on the tiller realises that there is a boat in front of him, and tries to stop, he ends up about 3 feet behind me.
What does one of the women say? “We are going into the arm!”
My answer: “I’m coming out of the arm!” This sends the woman of the boat moored next to me into stitches…
And of course I’m not moving forwards back into the spot I just left.
So I wait…, and wait… In the end they get the message and reverse.

The next day we have about 30 to 50 boats oncoming. All on full speed. All at bends and bridge holes.

Since I can not see what’s oncoming, I go slow and toot my horn. And toot my horn again. Hearing nothing I slowly proceed.
As soon as WRT’s beautiful nose is under the bridge or partly around the bend a (hire) boat comes towards her. Full speed.

I can easily stop. The other boat usually can’t. They end up all over the place… diagonally, or grounded, or both.
I’m not moving, of course. One: I was there first. And two: I’ve got WRT 4 close behind me.
So I wait…, and wait…

And yes, they do reverse. About a boat’s width… But that’s not enough for 60 ft of WRT 1 to get past, and certainly not enough for 70 ft of WRT 4!

When I finally get past I ask: “Did you not hear my horn?”
Answer: “No.”
So with a: “Maybe you should go to Specsavers to get an hearing aid” I proceed to the next bridge or bend.

No, this was my last trip on the Llangollen!

The two again

The two again (©Christine)

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