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Boat Blog: What we should have been doing….

Posted by indigodream on 15 May, 2012

Sunday 13th May

Well, what we should have been doing is spending the weekend rehearsing a bit of formation narrowboating on the tidal Thames with a cohort of our fellow Jubilee-ers….

What we actually did is stay at home and potter around in the garden and generally saw to looked at our domestic chores.

Having said that, Richard did go up to the boat on Sunday to check the ropes and have a little potter around the engine. Indigo Dream was fine, but he was reluctant to single-hand downriver on red boards, although some of the boats moored on the other side had moved upstream towards Oxford. We found out later that they’d had help from a tug – click here for the tale of their trip – it’s a good read!

After this week’s somewhat lighter rainfall, the river levels have come down considerably, but the flow is still very strong. On Saturday, the Thames was on red boards for most of its length but encouragingly, on Sunday some areas were on yellow “stream decreasing” boards – not our section though! By Monday most of the river was on yellow boards – hurrah! We can only hope that it doesn’t rain too much next week, but the forecast is looking rather damp.

Honestly, we just need a dry week, ok, 5 days would do, just enough time for the river to come down to yellow boards so that we can do the 3-day dash to Teddington – once we’re on the tideway we’re home and dry, as it were (sorry couldn’t resist!).

I am so glad that we did the rehearsals last year – I’d feel really uncomfortable otherwise. We couldn’t do next weekend’s rehearsals anyway as we’re off to Twickenham for the Heineken Cup final; however we’re desperate to get back for the weekend after, when we’ll be practising our mid-river mooring manoeuvres. We have to moor to buoys, where we’ll wait for several hours while the jubilee ‘convoy’ is assembled. Mooring to buoys in a running tide is a move more familiar to yachtsmen than narrowboaters so we really don’t want to miss that!

Although we can’t cruise yet, we haven’t been idle in our preparations for the jubilee. Richard popped into the chandlery at the Thames and Kennet marina in Reading, where he got the usual friendly welcome. He was investigating anchor chains and ropes – I think he’s planning a separate post on the topic – weighing anchor options (sorry!) is a science in itself…

Of course, if we had been able to cruise this weekend, I would have had to stay at home anyway…..

Lou isn’t really well enough to be left with Nanny Renia and getting up and down the boat steps would be a real trial for her at the moment. Lou was holding her own on Saturday, but has been unwell since. The sound of her noisily forcing breath past what we now know is a malignant tumour goes right through me. She is eating well (provided the food is cut up very small and well moistened) and felt up to barking loudly and ferociously across the fence at next door’s cat on Saturday! She also made the best of the weekend’s sunshine, enjoying a warm snooze on her duvet outside. So, food, snoozing and barking at cats – by a greyhound’s standards, she still has quality of life.

We have an appointment with the dog oncologists on Thursday – that’s when we will find out whether there are treatment options and what they might involve. Because Lou has been in relatively poor health recently, we were swaying towards not treating the tumour and calling it a day in the very near future. However Lou’s regular vet says that some of her recent malaise might have been caused by the lymphoma, which, by its very nature, is likely to be present through her lymphatic system – it’s just happens that we’ve found it first in the throat. So he feels that some chemotherapy/radiotherapy might give greater benefits than just an improvement in her breathing/swallowing. We just have to wait, keep an open mind, and make sure that we make the right decision at the right time for the right reasons….

7 Responses to “Boat Blog: What we should have been doing….”

  1. Neil Corbett said

    We are unavailable Tues/Wed/Thurs next week but if we can help out in any way on any other days do let us know.
    Neil (nb Herbie)

  2. Halfie said

    Sue/Richard, I’ve now been granted my request for leave over the Jubilee weekend/half term, so we’ll be coming to London to watch the pageant from the bank (unless you have a last minute need of extra crew …) What are the chances of spotting ID among 999 other boats?

  3. indigodream said

    Hi Halfie

    I’m not too sure where the best spots will be – I suspect that the very best places (on the bridges) will be taken up by the VIPs!

    The pageant organisers have a map/details of viewing areas/transport here – http://www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/InteractiveMap.aspx

    There is big party/viewing at Battersea Park (my cousin has booked tickets for that) but I’ve got a horrible feeling that it’s sold out now.

    Sadly we can’t take on last-minute crew – even if our own crew was overcome with a horrible lurgy – there are so many security checks – unless of course you can body-double for one of the existing crew members and mug them for their photo-ID 🙂

  4. Halfie said

    Thanks, I’ll have a look at the map. We’ll probably chance it along the south bank somewhere with my brother. Perhaps you could hoist a flag so we can spot you… What do you mean, that wouldn’t help?

  5. Karen said

    Hi Sue,
    Good to ‘meet’ you on the River at Maidenhead today. Just a cheery wave to say Hello as we passed. Hope all goes well for the Jubilee weekend. We shall be BCN Challenging!

  6. indigodream said

    Oh Karen, I’m sorry I missed you – I was at home dog-sitting while Richard cruised with his friend Liam – Richard said he’d seen you!

  7. indigodream said

    Karen – best of luck on the BCN Challenge – it’s such a great event!

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