Just an overnight stay to check things are OK and to relax a little after the stress & trauma of Heddi’s dad’s funeral.
We arrived yesterday morning, had lunch then went for a walk through the woods to Stourton, back down the towpath from Stewponey lock, then to Wittington Horse bridge and back along the far bank.
We have a new neighbour. A small cruiser called “Wobbly Bob” is now moored between us and the lock. This means that our view of the lock is now obscured, but also that we are no longer the last boat in the line, so less likely to get hit by boats approaching the lock.
The afternoon was spent washing the side of the boat (it was covered in grass splatters from BW’s strimming again) and a few odd jobs.
The canal was busy with quite a few boats about. Around five o’clockish a small GRP cruiser was coming up to the lock when it’s engine cut out just as they passed us. they managed to get into the side. There was various activity on board, then after a while a woman approached us and asked if we knew where the nearest filling station was. They had run out of petrol. There isnt a garage in Kinver, but I thought that I had seen one near to Stewponey lock. We checked in the “First mate Guide“, but that didnt mention one.
After a bit more discussion the woman’s husband set off up the towpath with a jerry can. This left on board the woman, two young children and an older man. They were still on the lock mooring bollards and were a bit in the way for boats approaching the lock. I suggested that we help them bow haul the boat through the lock as there is plenty of space above. However this was their first ever trip in the boat and they didnt feel confident without the guy who had gone off looking for fuel. So they pulled the boat back nearer to Wobbly Bob.
About this time a narrowboat came towards the lock, the steerer called out “are you going through?” when they said “No”, he started to shout and yell at them for being in the way. the woman tried to explain that they were out of fuel, but he wouldn’t listen and became abusive and pushed her out of the way. He then went up to the lock and quickly started working the paddles for the hire boat in front without checking with them first.
A woman who was with the abusive boater came back to the woman on the cruiser and tried to excuse his behaviour by saying he was tired as they had been following the slow hire boat all day. The poor woman from the cruiser was in tears, it was their first boating trip and she thought that they had done something seriously wrong. After the narrowboat had gone we went up to her and tried to reassure her that he was in the wrong and that there was no excuse for such behaviour and that the majority of boaters are friendly and helpful.
After almost two hours her husband returned with some fuel. he had walked all the way back to Ashwood marina to get his car. The boat with the abusive boater was moored just above the lock. When the husband from the cruiser went up to see him, the abusive boater refused to speak to him. I hope the event hasn’t put them of boating.
This morning we went for a very pleasant walk up on Kinver edge, then left for home after an early lunch as I had a blood donor appointment.