Only seeing half the picture

Well, after almost five months it was time for a Good Friday pumpout, big tank eh? Good day eh? But there was a problem to overcome, the front screen which hasn’t been replaced yet…

So with one half boarded up, off we went:

The view from the tiller, not exactly ideal for being on the move, couldn’t even see the front of the boat…



Please excuse the extra mess, Dave’s in the process of rejuvenating the gas lockers which involves:

  • Descaling.
  • Waterproofing and sealing with anti-rust waterproof primer.
  • Then using engine bay paint to finish off with. Two layers, one coat isn’t good enough for a perfectionist.

And he’s right, it isn’t:

Still a bit patchy over the red stuff…


  There’s two gas lockers and they each store one of these, we only use them for the cooker so each one lasts six months. Thank goodness because they weigh a ton…


So Dave’s been working on gas locker number one for three days now, still got to tackle number two. Glad it’s not me doing the job, the stuff he’s using STINKS.

Anyway back on the pumpout run: As we set off crossed eyed, crossed legged, and trying to do the incognito thing we suddenly heard:

“Hey you two, have you ever thought of getting a front screen you can actually see through?”

{Ha Ha dear friend, what great advice, as you know it’s an on-going job, but in the meantime, needs must}

Dave: “It was Heather’s idea of a challenge.”


Well of course this kind of crap situation (excuse pun) could only happen to us anyway, and our dear friend just knew it. As everyone does…

No big deal, really, no big deal at all. I remember it could be a (rare) beautiful day at the other marina we were at. But if Heth and Dave set off for a pumpout, everyone knew to run and grab their wet weather gear. Pronto. That’s a whole other story though, gongoozler’s used to buy tickets so they could stand and watch the weather change from the bridge nearby. Ah, pleasant memories of sorts… 

Returning to the here and now: Dave drove her round and I drove her back, like two pirates and a shared patch. Even passed two boats on the way, with boats moored either side of us. Which just goes to prove, when your arm is in harmony at the tiller, and a boat’s well balanced response is to hand. You can do it (almost) blindfold.

For any “old timers” who’d like to mention the fact that we don’t go out of the marina much, and we’ve got a bow thruster as an aid. Well all I can say is, it’s got nothing to do with mileage. Capability and boat reaction is the key.

Most of the canal system is straight, so try doing the above (neatly) whilst handicapped, with two tight 180 degree turns involved, and without using the bow thruster, except when mooring up.

As far as we’re concerned the latter is all it’s required for. However it would be helpful in an emergency situation.

But let god prevail, when a human bow thruster on a wibbly wobbly narrowboat with an open well deck, regularly puts their life at risk, (pole and a prayer about not falling in). For anyone unfamiliar, that’s usually the woman’s job…!

Noooooo!!!!! I can stay at the back where all the action is, nice and safe and comfortable with a cup ‘o tea.

This widebeam boat, heavy as it is, can actually go sideways…

Years ago I did a blog post called “Can’t see the wood for the trees” it was about a beautiful, yet bad spot to go past in a boat. The trees on both sides of the canal “grew” as one, and hung down so the canal was barely visible.

Today it was a case of:

“Can’t see the trees for the wood…”

Hey ho, so what? We’ve got a clean bog tank and our eyesight back…

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