For those of you, and that will be all of you, who don't know how canals work, it's like this.
Water doesn't go up and down. It lies flat, like a pancake, or Ali McBeal's tits.
If you want to go up a hill you have to go through a series of locks. These are just big holes cut on the side of the incline with f*****g humongous gates at each end. To go up you sail your boat in the bottom, shut the gate and open little doors that let in water until the lock is full and you can open the top gates and sail out. Going down is just Vicky Vercky.
The point of all that preamble is to set the scene for the latest British Waterways debarcle.
To the North of me about 6 miles away are the 5 Johnsons Hillock locks. To the south at about the same distance is the daunting Wigan 21 flight. 21 locks almost one after the other that take you down 250 ft to the Cheshire plain.
Well, British Waterways has decided, in its infinite wisdom, to do some remedial work on the Johnsons Hillock locks, and has drained one of the ' ponds' (short stretchs of water between the individual locks.) This has ceased the natural movement of water from reservoirs on the pennine hills that keep the canal topped up. This would be fine, if it were not for the fact that the Wigan flight is so poorly maintained, that millions of gallons of water has leaked through the shagged out gates, and we are all now sitting on the bottom of the canal. The level has dropped about 18 inches in two days.
normally my boat rocks gently all the time, but now it is as solid as a house.
Still some people don't realise what is going on. I stood on my pontoon today with a coffee and watched a novice in his brand new 55ft £120,000 narrowboat start his engine and whack it into reverse to back out of his mooring. It was bloody hilarious.
The prop was sitting in about 2ft of evil smelling goo and as soon as he put it in gear a huge plume of mud shot out of the water and covered him and his wife. Did he turn the engine off? Did he buggery. Next thing there is a massive cloud of blue smoke as his engine attempted to drag his 20 tonnes of steel across the bottom of the canal. (Canals are only about 4ft deep.)
I was f****n doubled over. And me with a bad heart, too. God only knows what it did to his gearbox, but it gave me the best laugh I have had since my Aunty Edna got her left tit caught in the mangle.