Be­ware of Cap­tain Calamity caus­ing chaos on the cut

Canal Boat - - Etiquette - BOB INALONG

What a great life this boat­ing lark is, just risen from my sack, sun is high in the sky so an­other beau­ti­ful day awaits, I switch off the gen­er­a­tor, if I don’t run it all night my fridge stops and the beer gets warm.

Af­ter moor­ing for 3 or 4 weeks at this spot, with its handy wa­ter tap right out­side I de­cide it’s time to move on. Be­sides the smell from the car­rier bags I stored in the hedge bot­tom is spoil­ing my lunchtime re­fresh­ment break.

I am lucky enough to have as bow-thruster that works well, so with a good long burst my home is in the cen­tre of the canal in no time at all and I’m away. I marvel at the rain­bow of colour on the wa­ter that fol­lows me ev­ery­where. I of­ten think how pretty the de­signs are as my empty drink cans leave these mag­i­cal colours on the cut, as far as the eye can see.

I am soon on my way to the next moor­ing, peo­ple are so kind at locks, even when my friends visit and we sit on the roof with a few tin­nies other peo­ple seem to op­er­ate the pad­dles and gates with no need of our as­sis­tance, al­though it’s sometimes hard to see them through my ex­haust smoke. This makes me re­alise why it’s point­less chang­ing the oil as I gen­er­ally put a fresh litre in a week.

I of­ten ob­serve peo­ple danc­ing on the lock-side danc­ing to my mu­sic from the ghetto blaster po­si­tioned hand­ily on the roof, those twin 12in speak­ers cer­tainly punch some good deci­bels as I play Guns and Roses or my favourite Def Lep­pard tracks. I wish I could hear what they are shout­ing as we leave the lock with our mag­nif­i­cent bow wave wash­ing up ei­ther side of the canal.

It is good to show your boat­ing skills as you over­take other boats go­ing in the same di­rec­tion, never sure which side to pass but a good old blast on the horn is of­ten given as a sig­nal for me to barge past.

I re­spect my en­gine and never take it over 3,500 revs: you can see the ap­pre­ci­a­tion on the other boaters faces as they wave fran­ti­cally at me (at least I think they’re wav­ing) as I pass their moored craft. It is not very long be­fore I spy an­other su­perb moor­ing spot, and I can­not un­der­stand why no one else is moored there. Soon my mo­bile home is moored, once again I have a handy wa­ter tap just out­side the gal­ley win­dow.

I like to moor early in the after­noon so I have time to set up my sturdy gen­er­a­tor, chairs, bar­be­cue, work­mate, etc.

It is round about now I let my two dogs ( Fen­der and Cratch) loose for a good run along the tow­path, some­time they are gone for an hour or more, but a good healthy run is what they need and it gets them off the boat. I then set­tle down with a few cans and ad­mire the iri­des­cent colours around the cans I have lobbed into the wa­ter.

Of­ten when I am re­lax­ing watch­ing boats pass by I won­der what the lit­tle coloured square pieces of paper are that adorn the stern win­dows of these craft, are they dis­abled moor­ing per­mits or per­haps they are mem­bers of some ex­clu­sive club?

Who knows, any­way let’s turn up the vol­ume, re­lax and en­joy this great life, I hope one day to bump into you and make some more friends. Yours in deep wa­ter,

Thank­fully our canal com­mu­nity is more civilised that Bob Inalong sug­gests...and we en­joyed his tongue in cheek ob­ser­va­tions!

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