Tuesday, 6 September 2011

It must be me!

I have always been led to believe by other, more experienced boaters that, on the cut, there is a very definite protocol  (rules of behaviour for certain occasions), and etiquette (a conventional code of conduct) to which every boater should abide.

LOCKS                                                                                                                                                                                                       It has always been my understanding that, at locks, crews help each other!  I’ve always done this – I’m up there ‘doing my bit’ especially when I can see that there’s only a single person operating the lock.  Somehow or other I don’t seem to be re-paid equally!  The following example is, sadly, not uncommon:-

Coming up the Frankton Locks to re-join the Llangollen we were number 9 boat in the queue.  Whilst awaiting our turn I must have helped at least 4 boats up and 1 down.  Did anyone from boat number 10 come to help me?  Did they ‘ek as like!  There were at least three adults on board but they just sat on the back deck and watched.  So, I went through the procedure really slowly!!  They were very nice people – John had been chatting to them – so ………….?           Smile with tongue out                                                                    Protocol? Etiquette?  It must be me!

LIFT BRIDGES                                                                                                                                                                                 There’s quite a few of these on the Llangollen and, until today, I had operated every one not only for ourselves but for others too.  Today, at the first lift bridge, I operated it for a single-hander who obviously had no intention of helping out and muttered a barely audible ‘thank you’.  Next Lift Bridge – it was being wound up as we approached!  ‘Result’, I thought.  Surely the young lady on the bank would leave it up for us?  Oh yes, she left it up all right!  As the back of her boat passed through, she lobbed her windlass onto the back deck and then vaulted (quite dangerously I thought) back on board.  Unbelievable!  Without any expletives, the Skipper did give the crew of the hire boat (it just had to be didn’t it?) both barrels!  The people sitting in the cratch got the first barrel and the driver and the lift bridge operator got the second!  This left me, however, to grapple with the dense, over-hanging shrubbery and try to get off at the same spot from which she had got on.  Being over-aged, over-weight, with bad hips, dodgy knees and lacking the athletic prowess of Dame Kelly Holmes, I was none too pleased!  I thought that if you had raised a bridge to let your own boat through and another boat was either close behind or there was one approaching from the other direction you let them go through too before lowering the bridge?       Surprised smile                                                                 Protocol?  Etiquette?  It must be me!

PASSING MOORED BOATS                                                                                                                                                                 All boaters know that they should slow down when passing moored boats but …………… do they?  I think you know the answer!  Blood pressures rise.                   Steaming mad                                                                                                                                                               Protocol?  Etiquette?  It must be me!

This attitude of  “I’m all right, Jack” ( there are other examples)  has no place on the canal system.  You never know when you need someone’s help!

If I didn’t know better, I’d think I’d got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning!!


  1. This just proves to me you are a very nice considerate and helpful person, the others are just selfish boaters who should get of their lazy asses and help. Well done you, keep up the good work and here's to hoping you meet more boaters like yourself along the way!!

  2. Calm down dear they are all ignorant tossers and will be stuck in boring jobs soon whilst you wander the canals enjoying the seasons.
    Not worth the rise in blood pressure xxxx

  3. do what I do make it awkward for them the times I give Lynne a bollicking for doing there work for them Mr Angry