A little note – We travelled from Waltham Abbey to Tottenham and covered about eight miles. In total we did four locks.
Today I learnt how to steer our boat. It was pouring with rain so I decided to give Mum a break. Mum went down below, she’d worked hard, I took her place on the saddle. The umbrella dripped, plip, plop, plip, plop, onto us, but we didn’t give up. We battled on like lone soldiers, whatever the weather.
Then Dad let me steer for a bit. He told me that I must keep the rudder straight, which makes us go right down the middle of the river. The actual steering was quite tricky, because if you pulled the tiller right the boat went left and if you pulled the tiller left the boat went right.
I had to be really careful not to hit any logs or rocks that were half submerged in water. An encounter with one of those things would be lethal. It would scratch the paint off and then the wood would be exposed to the water. Then the wood would rot and there’d be a hole in Loon. To put it simply, we’d sink.
After a while Dad allowed me to pedal alone, whilst steering. It took me a moment to actually realise that it was me making the us go along and me who was in control of the boat. I felt quite proud even though Mum and Dad do it everyday. I should like to steer again during our journey.
A few little facts
Did you know that if a boat comes towards you on a river or canal you must stick to your right hand side, or in boater’s language: ” To starboard”
Our boat, Loon, is called an Escargot, but you can get a bigger version designed by the same man, Philip Thiel. It’s called a Joli, is larger and also has a motor.