Friday, 1 October 2010

Those Who Have Gone Before 1: The Tuesday Night Club

In the run up to our adventure down the Backs, I'm planning a few blogs featuring images and extracts from the accounts of narrowboaters who have already been there and done it.

The first, and most well-known account of a trip up the back can be found on the Tuesday Night Club website. The TNC is a group of friends who are planning to cruise every last inch of the inland waterways of Britain and Ireland, and in 2001 they cruised the Backs in nb Frogmoore II. There are some lovely pictures of their cruise but I'm afraid you'll have to go to their website to look at them, as I have not been given permission to insert them here. The most interesting one is of the boat going under the lowest bridge, which gives me hope that the Duck will manage it!

The next item on the TNC Tour program has finally been done care of Honorary TNC Member John Chapman and the TNCFA nb Frogmoore II. John's boat is marooned on a sensible bit of water that is not closed to navigation - The River Cam.  We have both been on standby for the last few weeks waiting for Cam to not be in flood and also to fit in with John's business commitments. At 13.30 Thur 28/03/01 Neil  received the *GO* e-mail.

We started off at 15.30. After spitting with rain on the way up in the car, we actually had a rain free journey, well until the last part of the journey back! The paddle gear on the lock was of a strange design, a windy up screw affair attached to a really tall but narrow steel paddle, which is held in metal runners. We were soon through and had a slow but uneventful journey up to the next weir by Scudamore's punts. 

We passed two Japanese crewed punts, who scuttled for cover on seeing us coming! Beyond Scudamore's, at 16.30 John went for the wind, but found that even with the level up, there was still not much more that 2ft depth even in centre channel!!! Frogmoore II is very shallow draughted, only around 18". The bow came round OK, but the stern was still aground. After a bit of poling and welly the stern came loose and we made a rather hasty retreat past Scudamore's, to gain steerage for the bridge, which is at rather an angle. . . . Frogmoore II's handrails were saved from a scraping, by the conveniently placed "shock absorber" punts, rather stupidly moored under the bridge . . .well no harm done! 

We arrived back at Jesus Green Lock rather quickly, but we were annoyed to find it was empty, as another narrowboat moored above had just gone down stream. We were soon through and at the nearby sanitary station and had a good, well matured dunny dumping, wash the boat and fill up the water tank session. The free self pump-out kit was in disarray, having been swamped by recent floods. A notice said that it should soon be restored to working condition. The last half of this was done in increasing rain. At 17.50 we shoved off, for the 15 minute trip back to John's temporary moorings.

1 comment:

  1. I have looked at loads of the TNC site but never noticed the bit on the Backs. That sounds like a great little trip. I love the shallow and the obcure (waterways - not people!) - even when its on the BCN!
    Take lots of photo's.