Today, I was reminded that just one little push of the rudder of a narrow boat, gently and with a single finder, can channel the power of the eight tons into a change of direction and a force to be recconned with. And that power can be for the great good of the boat movement, or do unspeakable damage.
I had the opportunity to walk along the canal - and elsewhere in Melksham Without too - with a true expert on public footpaths - not in our vicinity, but in general. I learned of issues with waymarking an following paths, of the law as it relates to the formation and extinction of paths, of how right to roam and DDA law applies, and how and when paths must be restored when they're ploughed. And I had fun - thank you, Tim.
The first of the serieses of pictures I took - of our walk along the K and A towpath - is [here]
. People were walking, dogs were out, and the first buds of spring coming out. A cheery "Good morning" to many (and a tail wag and bounce from Gypsy to doggy friends), and a real helpfulness and chattyness of people. We're so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country.
Boats weren't moving, though. Someone had misdirected the power of their boat and moving water, and the gate at Lock 16 was hanging at a crazy angle. Alvechurch Marina, from Trowbridge, were turning their boats around at Seend, and ferrying people to and from their cars. Others were trapped, until Wednesday or Thursday, waiting for the lock to be repaired. I surmise that the paddles had been opened a little quickly, and water in the lock, as it filled, had been swirling like it would in a bath - an undercurrent at the bottom, with a forward current shoving the boat forward to smash the gate's anchors. "These things happen" ... my words, but also what everyone else has been saying, it seems, to the shaken and embarrassed crew involved.
Gypsy's sitting beside me (she's inexhausible!) and I have just commented to Lisa that she would love to go on a boat sometime and - in spite of today's lock gate.
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesZ531 - Cycling and Walking 
Walking on The Wiltshire Downs - (2008-05-12) 
Motorcycles welcome at Well House Manor - (2008-09-19) 
Walks in and around Melksham, Wiltshire - (2009-06-21) 
Friendly Hotel in Melksham, near Bath - (2009-11-02) 
Random thoughts on Melksham Town Planning and development - (2010-03-08) 
A walk within without - Melksham Without - (2010-04-02) 
Old trackways and routes near Melksham - (2010-04-05) 
The healthy option - away from the private car - (2010-07-07) 
What do these road markings mean? Could Confusion Kill? - (2010-09-17) 
Autumn walk from Bowerhill - (2010-10-31) 
Images of a Spring Walk - (2011-03-27) 
What can you take on a public footpath? Pram? Wheelbarrow? Dog? Shopping Trolley? Horse? Cycle? - (2011-04-03) 
Footpath, Bridleway, Byway, Road used as Public Path - (2011-04-04) 
Kennet and Avon - Walk from Bedwyn to Pewsey. TransWilts day out. - (2011-08-01) 
Transport in Cambridgeshire - seen by an outside observer. What can Wiltshire learn? - (2012-01-15) 
Melksham Area - buses, trains, cycles, and roads. Meeting, 17.1.2012 - (2012-01-15) 
Can I cycle or ride my mobility scooter on the pavement? - (2012-04-07) 
Fine evening, country walk from Melksham - pictures - (2012-06-21) 
Want to help us improve transport in Wiltshire? Here is how! - (2012-10-26) 
A long overdue meeting - a steeping stone towards coordinate transport user inputs - (2012-12-02) 
A request for all of Melksham transport groups to work integrated - (2013-03-01)M160 - Well House Manor - Environmental 
On flooding in Wiltshire and elsewhere in the West of England - (2007-07-25) 
Climate change, renewable resources and paper v plastic - (2008-01-09) 
Spiders Web - (2008-09-17) 
Bird Watching on the Melksham Avon - (2010-04-18) 
Well House - Mission and Policy summaries - (2010-05-13) 
The Farming Industry pictured around Melksham - (2010-06-04) 
Melksham Weather - Warm and windy becoming colder and calmer - (2011-01-15) 
Five new fans at Well House Manor - (2012-09-17)
Some other Articles
For loop - checked once, or evety time? Ruby v Perl comparison and contrast__index and __newindex in Lua - metatable methodsThe bull on the footpathA walk on the Kennet and AvonError trapping in Lua - no exceptions.Hotel booking in Melksham made easy!Lua MetatablesFirst and last match with Regular Expressions