Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Falling off the boat into a canal is usually not a problem as it is only 6 feet deep and generally about 30' wide, so if you can swim or dog paddle it isn’t far to the bank, where your boat-mate can stop, turn around, and pick you up. Providing she knows how to run the boat. Falling into a lock is another story, however. The water in the locks go up and down about 12' , so if you are going to fall into one, do it when the water is going down and not crashing into the lock in a huge rooster-tail waterfall filling up the basin. By this time I had gone thru hundreds of locks, Joy and I had perfected mooring in a lock as I would steer into the side, bump into the side where Joy would jump off the bow, tie that line while I would shut the engine down, run around and jump off with the aft line and tie around the bollard. Well, I miscalculated the gap and when I jumped off, I pushed the boat away from the quay and dropped into the water. I instantly remembered we had been flushing our toilet into the canal for several days and kept my mouth shut. The canal keeper stopped the water, jumped on our boat, threw me the life preserver hanging on the aft end of the boat, and pulled my out of the water. Checking me over and realizing only my pride was damaged we continued thru the lock where we tied up and took a long hot shower, followed my a good shot of cognac we fortunately had left from our trip to cognac.