Vlog 189: Feeling Sheepish

In this episode, I set off from Handsacre and squeeze through the tiny narrow section just after the town where it’s only just wide enough for one boat and you can’t see if anyone’s coming the other way…

Then I went through Rugeley, which was very busy and moored near Weston, waking up to an emergency involving a sheep. Yes, really.

Start location: https://goo.gl/maps/6RiwQKCA4EZnc3vBA
Sheep field mooring: https://goo.gl/maps/SdWpR4Mpsyrw9tnv6
End location: https://goo.gl/maps/pTfTvk2tYycidBzb8

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  1. Mike Tomlianovich

    I really like the mention of the lock rise/lower amount. Possibly when your boat is showin the lock, merely in the amount in the video as a graphic. Thank you.

  2. Hello, I’ve just discovered this vlog (well, my wife pointed me to it), and I think it is brilliant. On the subject of steering through bridge holes with a sharp bend on one side, there is a bridge on the Llangollen (Wenffrwd Bridge; 42) which has a sharp bend left afterwards when heading up to Llangollen. I was steering a 68ft boat, and the bow hit the offside (RH) bank while the stern was still just in the jaws of the bridgehole, with no room to steer the stern round. The only way to get round the bend was to send someone for’ard with the boat pole to push against the bank to bring the front round. I guess that in a 56footer you might manage the turn without having to do this. Coming the other way isn’t a problem, because you can put the bow into the bridgehole and swing the stern round in the available water.

  3. Yes . . . just how does one deal with those narrow bit stretches along the canal ? This certainly was an issue on the Llangollen in two or three places. We purposely left Llangollen Marina early in the morn on our way back down toward Chirk for two reasons; one to cross the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct before a traffic jam insued, but also, to clear the two or three narrow sections of the Canal, possibly the most narrow on all of England’s canals. It was good fortune that our Cell Phones worked in the UK, as my wife had to walk a full ten minutes ahead on the long narrow section to clear the way. Can you imagine if she had to walk back to give me the ok, only to find in the meantime another boat had appeared in the opposite direction! May the CRT could install some kind of traffic light system, like you often see on narrow automobile bridges. I especially enjoyed the sign at 12:00 in the video, it looks like fingers are pointing the way to Trent and The Potteries ;) Oh . . . and WELL DONE on the rescue of the bleating sheep. Good job of helping out on this one.

    • Cheers Michael!

      • David (ref Nov WW p19)
        A sheep coming out of the water carries a surprising weight of water. During a student vac I was involved with dipping sheep, which invariably collapsed when coming out of the tank because of their unexpected increase in weight.
        As a kayak user, my most difficult sheep rescue was from the edge of the Old Bedford River near Welches Dam. While pulling each leg out of the mud in turn (and getting us both filthy) the other three would each sink in further.
        I rescued a very young lamb from the Grantham Canal and placed it on the bank, with very little sign of life, its mother standing next to it while I went to a farm to suggest getting it into the warm ASAP although the wife seemed more irritated about being disturbed.
        A difficult rescue of a large but frightened and aggressive dog took place on the Farmer’s Bridge flight in Birmingham, just a stone’s throw from the location of the recent CRT APM. I used the bow of the kayak to push it against the towpath where a group of men made a rope into a noose, dropped it over the dog’s head and hauled it out.
        I do not envy those who had the job of getting their horses out of the canal in the past.

        • Useful info and interesting tales. That’s partly why I didn’t have a go at getting the sheep myself, though in the end it was hauled out by just one bloke but he did have the lever of a chunk of wood in the bank to brace himself on. I’m not sure I’d have got it out!

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