Tues 26th June 2007 – Brinklow, All Oaks Wood.
Excitement. Winds and rain brought a tree down last night.
A large ash, over 4 feet across the trunk and stretching from bank to bank blocked our passage south towards Braunston.

Boaters speculated how many hours or days BW would take to clear this one. Heavy lift equipment by canal, executives by road, HSE mapping the risks and who knows, maybe a start to clear the debris by tea-time.

But although not reported until after 9am this morning a small team of contractors were on site by road before mid day. With just two 4x4s, a plastic dinghy, a chainsaw, steel hawsers, strops and a boat-hook our team of four guys had it licked.

Main branches were soon off and the trunk turned to expose those under the water. Explaining their methods to inquisitive onlookers they cut and winched away branches the size of small trees until all but the main trunk was left.

By 4pm sixteen boats were stacked northside and four southside. For one poor fellow waiting, it all seemed to go so slowly.

But by 4.30pm the obstruction was over, a channel was open and the first boats passed through.

This had been a great time to meet others on the cut and without the obstruction we may never have met Maureen, a Blog contact who we’d recently exchanged news with about the River Soar and its tendency to flood.

Last night was windy and wet, so wet that I went on deck and shampooed the roof, letting the rain rinse it clean. This morning the wind had abated and a few hours sunshine had dried the tow paths. It’s tempting to polish the brass but it gets other boaters cross, perhaps they’re right, we’ve had enough rain for now.

Made a note in my record book showing a new supply of firewood for next winter.