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70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Saturday, 8 November 2008



The previous evening Paul & Penny, Jacquie’s brother and sister in law had arrived in a blizzard. The earliest winter snow since 1936. This morning, though, was just magical, scrubbed blue sky and pristine white snow covering everything. With the sun so bright we knew that it wouldn’t be long before it melted, but we had a substantial breakfast to fortify us against the cold and then, as last time we took off towards the Folly Pie Pub by Napton Bottom Lock. The views were wonderful and although Paul & Penny who spend much of their life in Southern Spain and were not really prepared, clothes wise, for snowy conditions, we had enough spare warm clothing and they really enjoyed the short trip.

I turned the boat in the winding hole and took no notice of the old car tyre that floated past the stern. Mistake!! After a lot of juddering SKYY continued to turn albeit much more slowly and with a lot of clanking from the prop, but more to the point the old tyre had disappeared and I good idea where it was hiding.

We got the boat alongside the towpath and as soon as I removed the weed hatch and plunged my hands into the icy water my worst fears were realized. The tyre had wrapped itself right around the prop. My attempts to prise it off were useless. I tried cutting through it with a junior hacksaw, knowing, as I started, it was wasting energy. I then thought RCR, the RAC of the canals, I am a member so lets see what they can do. A very cheerful lass said I would receive a call back within half an hour with an ETA for their attendance.

We retired to the roaring log fire and a drink at the Folly Pie pub and within 20 minutes I had a call saying they would be with me, within an hour and a half and the they were. There were two of them, one was an apprentice and it was he that was nominated to immerse himself up to his armpits in the icy water, however he first donned a pair of thick black rubber gloves that did reach his armpits. Within a few minutes the tyre bobbed up at the side of the boat and was removed from the canal with the boat hook. I think the apprentice will go far, he had obviously mastered the technique of tyre from propeller removal, not such an unusual occurrence and made it look so easy. A super service and I can well recommend River Canal Rescue.

We stayed where we were for a late lunch and forty winks for Penny and me, and then decided to stay put for the night. The clocks had gone back at the weekend and by four o’clock it had clouded over and was getting dark.


Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

We were moored just at the top of Napton Locks. We were spending a couple of days working on the boat.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mac and Jackie,
we have been following your blogg with great intrest. We thought that we would be joining you at Wigrams last winter but we got caught in Reading when the Thames was in flood, we are now coming up the end of March weather permitting!! Hope to see you then
Janet Sherborne