Jan 30 2013 By Natasha Gorbert-Hopkins
IN THE past few weeks England has been battered by snow, sleet, rain and wind. As I write this, it's blowing a gale in Uxbridge.
Many people assume snow is the worst weather condition for boaters. “Isn’t it cold? Do you get frozen in?” they ask, imagining a canal full of Eskimos huddling around meagre log fires.
No, snow is not the worst, at least not if you have a fully functioning fire. I personally enjoyed the cold snap, often feeling far warmer curled up on my sofa than I did in my friends’ houses.
No, I’ve been thinking about this, and wind is by far the most irritating meteorological phenomenon.
Firstly, it messes up my hair.
Secondly, it makes moving the boat almost impossible. Boat engines are at the back, driving the boat forward. This makes shorter boats a lot easier to manoeuvre, because all the force is concentrated and there is less chance of the front of the boat deciding that, as it’s a whole 70 feet away, it can do its own thing.
In windy conditions, it is easy for even experienced boaters to end up with their boat swinging wildly around the canal. There have been many times when I’ve been stood at the front of the boat, rope in hand to jump off and tie up when we reach the mooring, before a gust has caught the side of the boat and I see the bank suddenly drifting further and further away.
Thirdly, it can blow things off the roof and into the canal, where they sink to a watery grave. This happened recently with a new chimney cover that my dad had bought. We now use an upturned plastic bucket.
Lastly, it is something which only affects the small number of boaters who have diesel stoves. I’m currently sitting on my sofa, in jeans and a jumper, with the front door wide open. Why? Because the (insert rude word here) wind keeps blowing down the chimney and sending puffs of diesel fumes spiralling up into the living room.
It stinks in here and I’m fairly sure I’m getting a headache.
Wind, wind, go away. Please.
Check out Natasha's previous posts at www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/narrowview