There seem to be a lot of sea shanties at the moment, there is one, I cant remember the name, about whaling, that is on TicTok or Whatsapp or something. We have learnt a few over the last couple of nights with the choirs I’m in. Just a bit of a chorus. Haul away or something like that. I love singing and we have the lovely Kate from the Boat Band to teach us. Head over to Youtube and you can find their Cajun songs and music there…
Way hay me harties! singing is one of the best ways to relax and enjoy yourself . So many different genre’s .
sleep tight, let the sea be placid, and rock you gently over the deep….
After struggling for a couple of weeks to get this toy speedboat working the boat was transformed into a combination DIY SOS and Waterworld/MadMax theme. (He’s used up most of my cotton to hold the sails up). He thinks he might put it on the lake in the park or on the canal. I’ve suggested it needs a string adding to the front so if it gets caught in weed he can get it out….. I like the way he’s added sails that rake backwards, but I wouldn’t want to sail in it, especially in a choppy sea!
The lake was quiet on that day in November. The little ferry was only open one day a week so people could get supplies from the local village. It had been raining all morning. Grey clouds full of grey rain. The lake remained calm, placid, but the weather threatened to grow worse and the pressure was dropping.
They had caught the ferry earlier on in the afternoon and now they were making the trip back. Suddenly the wind whipped up. The water started to get choppy and white tops grew on the waves that were building up. Instead of the calm trip they were used to, the little boat was rising and falling over the crest of the waves, tipping and twisting. The internal lights came on and the ships captain announced that they were taking in a little water and that all passengers must remain calm, but they should all go to their muster points at the front and back of the ferry.
It was not far from shore when the propeller caught an old floating tree trunk. The forward motion stopped and the ferry lurched up and down. Waves were crashing over the prow, and the rain seemed to intensify.
When the squall passed the boat was gone. Only floating life rafts could be seen from shore. Of the twenty people on the boat 18 survived. The only two that were missing were an older man and woman. They were still holding hands when their bodies were found on the shingle beach in the morning.
Etruria is hosting varied events this weekend. There are plenty of wonderfully painted and restored canal boats and barges, and there were also some old and interesting lorries at the site which had hauled static steam engines to Etruria.
I’ve often wondered what it was like to live on a working barge and we recently had the opportunity to see the interior of an old boat that hauled coal, the cabin for a family was only about 6 or 7 foot by 5 ft. There were various adaptations, like having a table that dropped down and boards to put across to make up a bed. But the life was hard and must have been very difficult and dangerous at times.
One man I was chatting to had lived by the canal in the second world war. He said a bomb was dropped on the canal by aircraft trying to hit the local steelworks. It took the roof off a covered lock and blew down an old wall next to the canal. He also said that there is a lot of subsidence in the area and the land had sunk so much they had to build a new lock. They had dredged the canal then filled in the base. He had helped bring down new lock gates from the countryside down the cauldon canal. But when they got to Etruria the canal was too shallow as they had added too much clay lining to it. With the weight of the lock gate the boat grounded on the bottom and they were stuck on the barge until someone came along with a board to help them get off the boat.
There is so much history that we know so little of in this area.
Tomorrow , well actually later today, there is a classic car show at Etruria. Should be good.