Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Good News!

We all had to get up early as Matty and Al had a bus to catch at Cropredy. It was about a 15 minute walk to the bus stop and it had been arranged for 8.30am. We were about to leave and Del couldn't find his wallet. After searching Derwent6 we had nothing left but to ask at the pub we went to last night. We thought we would look in the garden first, where we sat, and sure enough it was still on the seat there..Lucky or what!!
We then walked to the bus stop and Al and Matty got on and said their goodbyes to Del. Al was meeting Matty's Dad in London and Matty was excited about the bus, train and tube ride.

While they were in London they received a text from Chris's wife Sylvia, the guy who fell in the lock at Buckby..

It was good news!!!!
Chris was recovering in the trauma unit of the Coventry Hospital with 21 stitches to his head and no broken bones, He did have some ligament damage to his neck and lots of soft tissue damage, but he was recovering well..........Amazing!! And the best news of the week!

A massive thanks to everyone for your comments and support, it is so appreciated, and we only did what we're sure anyone else would have done in that situation. We feel so much better, now that we know Chris is making a recovery, Lets hope they are both back with this wonderful boating community soon.

Matty's last day

We woke up to a damp day as it had been raining and it looked like it was going to rain again.. it was Matty's last day with us so we wanted to cruise with him, but we had to wait till Fenny Compton marina opened at 10.00am, so we could have a pump out.. We made our way along there at 9.30am and was surprised it was open already.. We managed to have a good pump out and soon got on our way..
It wasn't long before we spotted an old face of the canals..It was Ian off n.b Gosty Hill the old coal boat. It was good to see him and catch up with all the local gossip.. We filled him in with the saga of Chris falling in the lock at Buckby, he was quite shocked! We still haven't heard any news of how he is doing so lets hope it's good news, fingers crossed!!

We went through the narrows of the old Fenny Compton tunnel and it was quite overgrown in places, considering the traffic here..
The sun was trying to come out as we made our way up to Claydon locks.. As expected there was a bit of a queue in front of us, in fact we had six boats, so Del started doing the brasses and Al made us all some lunch, good timing really..

All we kept hearing was how busy it was at Cropredy with the festival just round the corner and we needed to get a spot as we needed to drop Matty back home. After the flight we filtered through the next three locks with no problems.. 
We managed to see a spot where we could use our chains and asked the boat in front if he could pull back a bit which he kindly did for us.. The water here is already shallow and we sort of got in. We could have done with filling with water again but at least we were in here. We wanted to show Matty round Cropredy so we took a walk down to the pub for some refreshments..
We didn't stay late and walked back to Derwent6.. It was an early night for us all as we had an early start tomorrow...

Onwards and Upwards the Napton flight

Yep after yesterday we didn't get much sleep.. Matthew ended up sleeping with Al, and Del slept on the settee. It didn't matter really, as we were all thinking about the same thing, hoping that Chris was alright from yesterday.
Trying to put it behind us we set off at 7.30am as we were all up.. We cruised for an hour passing Wigrams Turn or Napton Junction as we call it..
 We approached the Napton flight of locks with the windmill over looking us..
Matty was keeping a eye on Al doing the locks and reminding her of how dangerous they can be, he also helped on the gates..

We got to the top and it was very windy, we had trouble turning at Marston Doles. Al grabbed the centre rope as we turned and we managed to get round in one, a good maneuver we all thought. As we cruised along the top, three boats pulled out in front of us and we followed them for the four hours on to Fenny Compton.
We could see the thunder clouds in the distance and thought we were going to get very wet, but we only got the edge of it and it was a quick shower..
We arrived in Fenny at 2.45pm which was a good time as we had plenty of moorings to choose from..
After chilling out for a bit and Matty watching a film we then went to The Wharf and had some good old chips for dinner with ice cream for dessert..
Late into the evening Del and Matty sat and watched Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, and Stringray, till Matty fell asleep..  We sneaked to bed hoping for a better night.. saying a little prayer!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Just a Horrendous day

We have just had the most horrendous day on Derwent6 and don't want another one. So don't read this blog if you are squeamish or get upset..

We had a bit of a lay in in the morning as Al had booked her Asda delivery. Matty had met up with Leo and they caught a frog and some tiddlers with the net..
At 9.30am we decided to go up the locks and the boat behind us said they would join us.. It was a couple in their seventies we think, and the help would be good.. We pulled into the lock and pulled Derwent6 over while the husband helped Al on the opposite gates.. His wife had just pulled alongside Derwent6 and the next thing Del heard was a thud.. (What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion). The husband had tripped on the lock bollards and come down on his shoulder and then rolled into the lock.. He had dropped ten feet and hit his forehead on the roof of his boat, unconscious he hit his head on the lock wall and rolled down to the gunwale near the stern deck of the boat.. Del could see his injuries and they weren't good.. As the weight of his body pushed the boat away from the wall he fell into the water, with his leg trapped on the stern deck. The first thought was to turn the engine off, as he was head first in the water. Del jumped across the boats and managed to grab his belt which was on the waters surface, but couldn't get his head out of the water.. Del then grabbed the back of his shirt and pulled, managing then to get his head out the water.. Grabbing him round the chest and locking his hands he pulled. The man then coughed and spluttered as Del gripped him under the arms, Del couldn't believe he was alive!!! After some calls for HELP! another guy turned up and was able to free his legs and help Del in getting him on the stern deck.. his injuries were horrendous, but amazingly, he was able to talk to us. The guy who helped Del turned out to be an ex policeman and worked for the Red Cross (and we're sorry but we have forgotten his name) but he kept the husband talking, and we found out the husbands name was Chris.. Al had watched all this and had managed to get the help and also called an ambulance and guided them to the scene of the accident.. The ambulance was there in four minutes and Al guided the paramedics into the lock. While they worked on Chris, Del held the boats while Al let the lock up gently.
By this time we had loads of people to help lift him to the ambulance.. Chris was still conscious when he was taken away.. Al supported Chris's wife and helped her get a bag together for the hospital with phone, charger, money and any medications they were taking, and also helped her button up the boat, she then got in the ambulance and they were rushed off..  We pulled their boat out of the lock and made it secure, it was also being looked after by some locals.. Very shaken, we got on Derwent6 and put in on the water point, a cup of sweet tea was in order, and Al called CART to update them. Ten minutes later the Asda delivery turned up which took our minds off it a bit..
After getting ourselves together we decided to leave and headed for the Braunston tunnel..  As we entered the tunnel we met six boats one of them on the kink in the tunnel..
There was aloud scraping noise down the side of Derwent6, can the day get any worse... When we got out the other side we checked the damage and our first bit of luck was that the sliding catch on the side doors had taken the brunt of the damage and kept Derwent6 off the side panels. 
We approached the first lock at Braunston and was very apprehensive about doing it.. but even Matty was brave enough to help, who was also a star through all this.
We stopped at the chandlers and picked up oil and filters for Derwent6's next service before heading out towards Wigram's turn.. Two Viking boats pulled out in front of us, unable to steer, and we were at idle as we followed them to bridge 103 where we had had enough and moored up..
Matty then made us some Duck shaped shortbread to help us all get our heads together... lets hope we get some sleep, but we doubt it... PLEASE GUYS GIVE LOCKS MUCH RESPECT!!!

Matty found a friend

We had a bit of a later start this morning, well if you call 8.30am a late start... 
It has been busy here at Stoke Bruerne with the traffic on the towpath..
We went through the top lock and headed on to the Blisworth tunnel where Matty was greeted by the Blacksmith.
We never met another boat in the tunnel and soon got to Gayton Junction.
Matty was keen to have a steer of Derwent6 but soon found out how difficult it was and his height didn't help seeing over the roof of Derwent6.. "Maybe I'll try next year" he said.
We had some steady cruising in the sunshine through Bugsbrooke and on to Weedon, but couldn't stop as we wanted to make Norton Junction..
We waited in the bottom lock till we were met by another boat.. With a full crew to help, including Matty on the gates, we were making good progress.
It was about 4.00pm when we got to the top lock and we said goodbye to the boat we had come up the locks with.
Matty wanted to go fishing and we had a rod on board Derwent6. He spent a hour trying to catch something but no luck. In fact the boat next to us had all been trying and had no luck, just a dodgy pound we thought..
The good news was Matty had found a friend in Leo who was on the boat next to us, also out with his Uncle..
They had a lot of fun together until a massive thunderstorm came over and gave us about three inches of rain in about a hour..
We ended up going to bed early listening to the rain on the roof...

Long haul to Stoke Bruerne

We left early this morning, in fact it was one of our earliest, 6.30am, and headed to Stoke Hammond Lock..
Matty noticed a Cray Fish in the lock and we have seen a lot of them this year..
We then carried on to Fenny Stratford lock, the one with the swing bridge in the middle of it.. Matty was soon helping Al open the gates and helping on the swing bridge..
We then had some nice cruising to do in the sunshine around Milton Keynes. We like this section of the Grand Union with its tarmac towpaths and scenic trees.
We got to Cosgrove and went through the lock and headed on to Stoke Bruerne as we were making good time..

A boat had gone through the locks but they very kindly waited for us at the next lock which made the locks that much easier. We decided to stop in between the locks as Matty was all excited about going to the gift shop and the museum.
We moored up and then walked up to see it all..
Matty brought some things in the gift shop and loved the museum and we were all able to do a boating quiz as we walked round..
We then went back to Derwent6 for a shower and change as we were eating out in the evening. We went to The Spice of Bruerne, an Indian Restaurant right on the canal as Matty likes Indian food..
We had a lovely meal and were treated like kings in there..  We got back to Derwent6 knackered, but during the day Matty had made some strawberry tarts and had added his special touches to it, like the fudge he had brought at the Fudge Boat.
We were ready for bed after a long and tiring day.. with full tummies and fudged out....