Dalsland Canal; in the wake of Roger Pilkington and the Commodore

Ruda was ready and waiting before the lower gates as the Dalsland Canal system opened to admit the first boat of the 2010 season.  There to record the event was a journalist, which resulted in a very sociable few weeks for Ruda as everybody seemed to know her! [Gallery=6] They had all read his newspaper article about Ruda following in the wake of an Englishman named Roger Pilkington author of the charming “Small Boat Through Sweden” in which he describes his adventures in the Commodore. Although published back in 1961, and in English only, most people seemed to have read it and the unusual sight of a red ensign in the canal brought out their talkative side. On page 156 of Pilkington’s book a young man named Bernt Quist writes the Commodore a note proposing future destinations and posts it through a porthole. Bernt, at over 80 years of age, is now the keeper of a manual lock on the Dalsland canal and is still leaving notes on British cruising boats![Gallery=29] There were plenty of quiet moments too, tied to rocks seemingly in the middle of nowhere with just the eagles and woodpeckers for company. The canal and lake system was developed for the logging industry, and Ruda had a few tangles with errant logs, but such unwanted excitement couldn’t diminish her enjoyment of the wild vistas and blue, blue skies.

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