I do try not to get cross, I really do. Even when people slew across the canal in front of me, or try to come through a bridge that is clearly mine, thinking that if they toot their little horn enough I'll get out of the way, or when a man in mirrored sunglasses is standing on his boat, arms folded across his chest, watching my approach, just waiting.... waiting... until we pass, to ask sarcastically 'Don't you slow down for boats then?' - which I wouldn't mind so much (because sometimes it's a fair cop) if we hadn't been absolutely crawling (what else can you do on most of the North Oxford) and his boat didn't move an inch as we approached.
I try, but I don't always succeed. Any little annoyance is magnified by the circumstances of boating - you may want to try and communicate; to explain that actually, this isn't fast, to suggest to people that it's usually better to keep going and steer rather than try to stop dead - but the noise of the engine and the increasing distance means that any communication has to be conducted at shouting pitch, and that not only sounds aggressive, but also engenders aggression and even in the few seconds available things quickly escalate as each participant seeks a quick and snappy putdown to get their message across. Sometimes with hindsight I wish I'd stopped and reversed back, and had a proper conversation.
I especially don't like exchanging cross words with fellow bloggers. Despite the obvious fact that boating bloggers are as varied as boaters themselves, and of course I couldn't possibly get on with all of them, it still feels as if we should be some sort of community. And especially when it's a blog I've read and enjoyed in the past (even though I didn't recognise the boat, which I am not going to name). That man was still wrong, but I wish I'd gone back and had a chat rather than shouting.
Another back to home mooring trip.
1 month ago