Ohh decisions decisions. Sometimes it’s so hard to choose. It’s between Braunston Rally and Banbury Canal Day. Hmmm.
Aaah did you see the Masterchef final? They have set me a precedent. When you can’t choose between two quite different things, both in their own way as good as the other , you can declare the result a A DRAW! Two very enjoyable events with one key similarity – a chance to meet other boaters and more importantly, boat bloggers who you might otherwise only know from their works. Wee at each one and if we miss them another year, we’ll be sad.
Now before we get on to the run up to the BIG PRIZE, The Herbie 2012 Special Award to someone who has done something admirable (maybe we should call it Herbie Personality of the Year like BBC sports), we have a couple of minor but entertaining categories. First
The Scariest Moment of the Year 2012
a) The Braunston tunnel headlamp failure. Yes, 50 yards into the tunnel and our headlamp bulb died. 2000 more yards to do in the pitch dark, not to mention the S bend towards the southern end. Kath’s little LED torch did its best but in truth it wasn’t much good. Amazingly we managed to get through relatively unscathed,. Nothing that a touch up of paint couldn’t fix, but I never want to do it again.
b) Herbie’s engine dangling on a swinging wire
I suppose the guys at Calcutt knew what they were doing, but my heart was in my mouth!
c) the Lapworth Tornado
I kid you not. At the time we took this photo, a primary school less than a mile away was having its windows blown clean out by the wind.
I have never, ever, seen rain like it. You would be soaked to the skin in 5 seconds, whatever you were wearing. We were sheltering under a motorway bridge, but the wind was blowing the rain thirty feet into the shelter. We could see great swirls of precipitation racing with incredible speeds across the adjacent fields. Half an hour later it was calm and sunny, but the towpaths were, shall we say, interesting.
d) Braunston tunnel (again) – creeping through with the faulty alternator making enough volts to boil the batteries and cause a hydrogen explosion.
Our duff alternator was making 16 volts or more. I was taking Herbie to have a new drive plate because the old one was rattling. Would the drive plate fail in the tunnel? Would we have a hydrogen explosion from the battery gases? The canal was in flood and there was a considerable current against us in the tunnel. To keep the volts down we crept through at tickover. It seemed to take forever but we were fine in the end. Like the other Braunston tunnel incident we had Rick at the helm. Could his middle name be Jonah?
Well I suppose it’s all nothing compared to what those on the Thames or the Nene had to endure this year. How they kept their blood pressure down I have no idea. Respect.