On Tuesday, I did!
We left bright and early on another beautiful day and gently chugged our way towards our planned days destination. As we traveled the wind did increase considerably but I suppose it being a gradual increase, I hadn't particularly noticed the severity of it.
Having filled the water tank (and emptied the bins) at Dobsons locks again, we went straight though Apperley (btw the travelers HAVE actually traveled and gone) and carried on towards Calverley... just as the crew jumped off to open Calverley swing bridge, a Hire boat appeared in the distance so to make life easier for them (in the now much stronger wind) Tony (the guest) was sent on ahead to open Rodley swing bridge on our approach.
WHEN it came into sight I noticed a Bear Boating hire boat (they are quite easy to spot around here) that appeared to be sideways across the cut - I assumed the skipper was trying to hold water (if that's the correct term) whilst my crew opened the bridge, to save them having to do it... as I went through the now opened bridge, (still with the other hire boat behind me) the Bear boat was now properly sideways blocking the canal - making the associated splashing sounds when you get into a bit of a panic... Seeing a tiny gap between 2 already (wisely) moored up boats, I didn't really have much choice other than to put my nose in and loop a line through a ring in a hurry - WHICH I did, ONLY to have the couple at the back of the Bear boat, STILL sideways, begin shouting and screaming at me - Apparently I'd just stolen the mooring space they were trying to get into....
Now - normally under such circumstances, I'd have shouted back that once they were back under control AND the hire boat up my arse had managed to pass by without crashing into either of us, I'd happily move along and HELP them to get into the space (which btw was truly 57foot & 1 inch) ...
HOWEVER - as their screams and shouts became more aggressive, my dander got up (not a euphemism) and I couldn't help but suggest (rather loudly shouting back) they'd rather missed the "relaxed point" of boating... and perhaps it wasn't a suitable pastime for them.
This angered them further...
A load more abuse followed, along with some reference to 'bloody boat owners all think you're much better than hirers' - chip on their shoulder type stuff... along with "where are we supposed to moor up now" type of pleas... I directed them to the 7 day moorings a few hundred yards (in the direction they were heading) and suggested they RELAX.
In hindsight - I could ... perhaps OUGHT to have responded differently but I'm only human too.
HAVING been on guard duty all night - (worrying about our tyres being let down lol) we departed about 8.30 the following morning for the chug into Leeds.
On arrival at the 1st manned lock flight, whilst waiting for the locks to fill, I noticed another boat appeaer behind us slowly and then stop - some way from the top of the flight... The lock-keeper was keen to know if they planned on coming down that day and if so, he'd prefer to work them through with us .
After a few mins or discussion, they pulled forward and entered the lock with us. Chatting as you do, it transpired they had major engine problem that meant they could only run it for a few mins at a time before oil pressure was lost and it also over heated... they've been trying to get some sense out of Barrus Shanks but to cut a long story short, they were heading to Castleford boat yard - where they've arranged to have a brand new Beta fitted.
The journey to Cas. taking them a long, long time.
Given we were now entering (anecdotal Bandit Country) I suggested if they would like, we could tie them on and take them with us all the way to Granary Wharf in Leeds.
Anyway - by early afternoon we'd made it safely (if with perhaps a couple of tree scratches here and there) into Granary Wharf, where we untied them, had a spot of (late) lunch and then continued down the river to do a pump out/dispose of rubbish.