On Friday 28th August, 7th Camberley Scouts set off on a two day canal boat adventure.
Starting from Hillingdon Narrowboats, there were 9 scouts in all and 3 leaders, Ant, Leigh and Keith, plus a ‘steerer’, Graham, who came as part of the boat package - provided we fed and watered him well.
We travelled in 2 cars to the boatyard where we boarded Theo – a 71 foot long, by less than 7 feet wide narrowboat and loaded our kit and food. A brief safety talk and explanation of how stuff works and off we went north to our first lock. The crew was divided into three teams each with one adult leader and three scouts so we could share the lock work and the washing up!!
Heading up, we entered empty locks and using the lock paddles under water at each end of the lock to allow locks to be filled and emptied by boaters using a cranking handle called a ‘windlass’, filled them and went through to the next. All the scouts did the locks, winding paddles and opening gates weighing several tons each. An hour and a half later and we were at Tesco in Batchworth where we moored for the night. There was time to feed the ducks before a feast of hot dogs with ketchup and mustard. With five boys in one cabin, four in another, the steerer in his own at the stern, and three leaders in the front, we settled in to our bunks for the night.