Saturday, February 27, 2016

That'll learn 'em

Excuse my grammar. Today we've been out in what turned out to be a nasty cold wind taking Herbie out on the first day of a jolly into our fair capital city. Grace (8) is with us for the first 24 hours, so we tootled up the Cowley for the night, dined out at the Shovel and tomorrow we'll take her to the Black Horse where her mum will collect her.

As some of you will already know Grace is a dab hand at lock wheeling where her limited strength permits, and she has done a bit of helming in the past, usually with me shouting "pull" or "push" to indicate which way to shove the tiller. This time I tried a new approach slightly reminiscent of the advice I once got which was to point the tiller handle at whatever thing you don't want you to hit. This time I just said that whenever the boat wanders off course, which it does very ten seconds, move the tiller handle in the same way that the front of the boat is moving. Well it worked. Grace drove us up three miles of the Slough Arm and then up under the bridges to Cowley lock with hardly a word from me. (I was of course next to her in case of any problems, but I wasn't needed,) Over aqueducts, under bridges and past many a moored boat, she kept a perfect line. Admittedly I took over for the turn out of the arm onto the GU, but that was it. What a star!

I look forward to the day when I am too old and knackered to work the boat and Grace can do it for me.





Vallypee said...

Bless indeed! I often wish I had a tiller. I think I'd steer better than with my delayed reaction wheel. What do you tell her about reversing...or haven't you got to that bit in her instruction yet? If not, what would you tell her? I always get muddled reversing myself :)

Herbie Neil said...

Reversing is A level stuff. If I tried to teach that to Grace I fear it might be an example of the blind leading the blind!