I went for a bike ride with Kat today, and we were stopped by a steel wire strung across the path between a large van and a canal boat. Well stopped by a man who pointed to the wire, so there was nothing for it but to climb the wall next to the path and pull the bikes up after us. And the reason for the wire? It was stopping a canal boat from flipping over, given that it a LOT lower in the water than it should be (the gang plank is supposed to go to the deck, not the roof!)
The white van belonged to British Waterways, and I guess that the team were the equivalent of the AA for Canal boats, since they had arrived equipped with several fairly meaty portable pumps that were pulling water out at a pretty impressive rate.
As we passed, they had no idea what had caused the problem … but when we passed by again 90 minutes later the team had gone and the boat was just as low; so, we guessed that the problem was fairly serious. And the owner wasn’t looking too thrilled. Did make me think of all the stuff written about folks whose homes are underwater given recent house price drops, but not quite as literally as this!
As an aside, we thought we were going to see a repeat performance later on as three boats crowded into a lock at the same time. Kat had never seen a lock working, so we stuck around, and couldn’t believe that two boats went in nose to tail, with the lead boat so close to the downstream lock gate that it couldn’t open, and the back one must have been almost on top of the sill at the other end. I was expecting to see but fortunately they all got away with it.