Its a fair old distance from London to Milton Keynes. It means 68 locks 1 swing bridge and a whole lot of speeding up and slowing down and a certain amount of frustration.
One notable frustration was after I passed the Globe Inn in Leighton Buzzard. I heard a voice from above which turned out to be a lady boater of my acquaintance. A little way along the canal I met a hire boater. He nodded and said hello, but nothing else.
A little further along still an oncoming boat was giving me no space even though the canal was wide. I recognised the boat which had frequented Thrupp during the summer.
The lady onboard called out as she passed. “There is a boat adrift up ahead. We have been grounded for the last hour trying to pass, this is why we are keeping over we don't want to get stuck again”, she said. Her logic astounds me.
So now I have passed two people who are aware of a drifting boat. (the hirer must have been there as well as he was so close to the other boat). Neither of them made any effort to re-tie the boat.
When I arrived on the scene the boat DAVRO, a good 60 foot, was right across the canal. The side hatch, as you can see, was open and with a persex insert, surely they would not have gone out with the hatch open. I had no other choice than to secure the boat. I moored with a centre line and a pin.
I boarded the boat along the gunnel to get a rope. I noticed the slide was insecure. I called in, nothing! I picked up the centre line and made to step off the boat when a very bewiskered head popped up out of the slide.
He asked, “What’s happening?” I explained. “Never heard a thing,” he said. We secured the boat and I was on my way.
What amazes me is that the other two boats did not try secure the boat.
It was nothing special we all would do exactly the same thing. People are always telling me about drifting boats, but they never try to tie them up. I tie up two or three a year so why cant the people who tell me, just do it? Why do they assume that it is someone else’s job?