Thursday, January 03, 2008

The final awards

Still three Herbie awards to decide.

Well, the first is easy - Most Scary Moment. What else could it be than Jacob falling off the gunwales and into the canal as we cruised through Cassiobury Park. Although he can swim, its not so easy when wearing clothes and I had to take the plunge myself to give him a hand. Had it been this time of year with icy cold water and us having umpteen layers of clothes, things would have been even worse. Anyway all's well that ends well and we live to tell the tale.

Then we have worst day's cruise. Not so easy this one because we generally enjoy ourselves when cruising. However, the weather last year did make a couple of days hard going. Let's vote for the day we took our son Peter back to Leighton Buzzard to catch a train home. Not only was the rain incredibly heavy and persistent, but there was thunder and lightning too. I don't think I have ever been so wet, except when I dived in the canal to rescue Jacob :-).

Lastly we have the award for Worst Canal Lock. Aah, I expect we all have favourites here. A couple spring to mind. The picturesque Iron Bridge Lock near Watford is very pretty and popular with gongoozlers, but it takes forever to fill. Such is the leakage from the bottom gates that the water coming in at the top barely matches it so the last couple of inches take ages and ages to fill. Why it never gets on the BW list for repair, I don't know. One of these days it won't fill at all, then everyone will be stuck.

However, the worst lock really has to be Osterley lock between Hanwell and Brentford. Its not the lock's fault. Its just that its position is a rubbish trap. Floating twigs, logs, footballs and general rubbish come down with the current from the river Brent and pile up in front of the lock. Boats have top negotiate up to fifty of sixty feet of flotsam before they even reach the top gate of the lock. Then the lock itself can be absolutely jammed with the stuff. We had a real job getting through last January.
So that's it for the 2007 Herbie Awards. I wonder what 2008 will bring. Not too many nominations for scariest moment I hope.

1 comment: said...

crikey. im gong to remember that lock, Osterley. If I am low on logs in the winter, imbound to find something in there to burn! lol. Still at least its not deliberate rubbish like we all see so often!. Logging here I come!