Sunday, 24 June 2012

Perfect Planning PPPP

Because of the Jubilee Pageant, I had to join the HBBR Thames raid late. My cunning plan was to put in at Eynsham, near Oxford, take the trailer to Beale Park and return by train and bus. I sorted out all the timetables with care, because public transport in rural Britain is a sick joke.
Naturally, I just assumed that I would be able to drive to the lock at Eynsham, sling the boat in the water and pop off.
But the notice at the end of the lane to the lock states that all vehicles must have permission from the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in writing. Which I didn't have.
Luckily, I remembered from the last trip that there is a small stream linking the Talbot pub with the river, and some canoeists had used it so it might be large enough for me.
The landlady charmingly gave permission, and a bloke sitting at the end of the bar assured me that there was plenty of room for a small boat as long as I could get under the bridge. Isn't it funny that in any English pub there is always a bloke sitting at the end of the bar with the local knowledge you need?
Snarleyow was eased down some very slippery and uneven wooden stairs to a dodgy pontoon and loaded up. At which point I heard the familiar and welcome voice of Tim O'Connor, who offered to accompany me to Beale in his car and bring me back when I had deposited the trailer. What a star!
And he took these pictures of me getting into the boat with extreme caution and proceeding down a very tight waterway in the rain.
What he didn't capture, thank goodness, was me deciding that it was easier to row down backwards. Not a pretty sight.

7 comments:

Port-Na-Storm said...

Ah, rowing backwards, facing forwards, in a very narrow boat pointy at both ends. Isn't that called canoeing.

Chris Partridge said...

Cheeky!
Facing the right way was certainly a plus, but it was just as slow as canoeing....

Unknown said...

Pay no attention to old stormy, I'll bet she goes well the wrong way! I'm forever backing in to get a closer look at something!

lucas said...

Forgive the intrusion, but I recently came across a boat in Cape Elizabeth, Maine that was nearly identical to the one pictured here and your blog's title image. I've been searching in vain for the type of skiff she was. A friend thought it was a grand banks dory, but the lines are all wrong. What is she?

Thanks.

lucas said...

Forgive the intrusion, but I recently came across a boat in Cape Elizabeth, Maine that was nearly identical to the one pictured here and your blog's title image. I've been searching in vain for the type of skiff she was. A friend thought it was a grand banks dory, but the lines are all wrong. What is she?

Thanks.

lucas said...

Forgive the intrusion, but I recently came across a boat in Cape Elizabeth, Maine that was nearly identical to the one pictured here and your blog's title image. I've been searching in vain for the type of skiff she was. A friend thought it was a grand banks dory, but the lines are all wrong. What is she?

Thanks.

Chris Partridge said...

Hi Lucas - Snarleyow is a Sprite, designed by Andrew Wolstenholme and Jack Chippendale. The boat you saw may have been a Merry Wherry, a copy of the Sprite in the US.