fbpx Skip to main content

Tuesday Tales is back! Last week we had some unexpected news which turned us a bit sideways so we quickly fashioned something together…on a Wednesday no less. Anyway…

Our first cruise!

When we began our first cruise, on Katoomba, we were full of excitement and a lot of trepidation. Neither of us had ever had any experience cruising a narrowboat apart from the three locks John took us through when he sold us the boat. It’s a similar tale for most, if not all, new boat owners!

Getting Stuck

About an hour into our first cruise (a three week cruise to get us to London on time for the arrival of Etta!) on our own we actually got stuck. A boat was coming towards us and we veered too far to the right into the tree line and got stuck on the silt. 

Oh my goodness me, we had no idea what to do! Panic set in and after trying to work out how to get us going again and failing, Jason was actually considering getting INTO the canal and trying to push the boat. 

Writing this is making me laugh so hard. What on earth were we thinking!? As if Jason was about to casually push a 20 tonne steel boat out of the silt. Absolute joyous naivety. 

In the end another boat cruised along and rocked us out of our position and we trundled ahead again.

Carry on Boating at Tyrley Lock

On the same cruise down south, but a few days along, we came to a lock just outside of Market Drayton and this really was our ‘Carry On Boating’ moment…

I wonder if some of you may know about the lock I write about, Tyrley Lock. 

Upon the first go of trying to get in the lock the wash coming down and out of the bottom run off was so, so strong that it completely pushed the boat to the left and half the 60ft boat was out of the water and stuck fast on an outcrop of rock.

It was a very, very hairy moment. The barge pole came in handy!! 

I was 34 weeks pregnant on the bow trying to push (not that pushing just yet!) hard against a rocky wall face and J was on the tiller and trying to rock the boat from side to side. 

I wasn’t strong enough to do anything with the pole and panic set in again. We were so worried that we’d damaged the boat and that we were never going to escape!

In the end J used all his might and with the barge pole managed to shift the boat just a little so that we were able to scrape back down the rock and back into the water. 

After lots of consideration and back and forth theories about how we’d get into the lock J decided to really give the throttle some wellie and we plummeted into the lock (first we plummeted into the buttress wall on the way in!!). 

Upon closer inspection this brick buttress had chunks chipped out of it left, right & centre so we knew it wasn’t just us feeling inadequate. 

I think this lock has made even the most experienced boaters stumble and grumble with beautifully painted boats knocked here and there. 

Honestly, that is up there with our most tricky moments. It was a bit of a baptism of fire for us!! We have had so much cruising experience now, thousands of hours and a thousand locks, that I’d hope we wouldn’t get in such crazy situations anymore. Never say never though…

Our Cruising Advice

Whoever wins the beautiful vessel we have on offer will of course have some sweet cruising lessons from J and we’d hope you never have such wild and heart palpitation inducing moments as us. 

Our most wise advice would be to stay calm and take things slow. Things always right themselves and there is no rush on the canal!

I hope many of you have a little giggle at our ineptitude in the beginning but also gives some of you hope & confidence that when one of you does win if you don’t have any experience that we will give you the tools & guidance to cruise your boat beautifully into the sunset!

With love,

Mollie x

You could WIN a brand new widebeam boat!

Here’s a quick reminder about our exciting “Win a Boat” competition! We’re offering the chance for you to win a brand new, custom-designed stunning widebeam boat of your very own, worth £180,000!

If you’re up for a new adventure, check out the competition to see the amazing life-changing prize!

Marwood Makes

Helping you turn your boat & campervan dreams into reality! With years of expertise of boating & vanlife, we're your trusted source for living life on wheels & water. Let's navigate the waves together! ✨