Sunday, 10 August 2014

It's so nice to have help on a lock flight.

So we waited on Friday for the promised deluge, we waited and we waited. Yes, we assured each other, that nice chap on the telly said heavy rain. So we waited. All in vain, not a drop. But they were pleasant moorings.
Saturday dawned bright and fair so it was up early and on our way. It was a day of mile markers

and bridges. After our recent sojourn on the rivers and drains even the Grand Union, that most magisterial of canals, seemed almost homely.

The engine purred at a relaxed 1500 revs and the mile markers

and the bridges

passed gently by.

Near Weedon Bec we passed it. Has anyone discovered its origins?  I have no idea.
All was peace and tranquility and we were soon at the bottom of Buckby locks. There was a boat following us and we looked forward to sharing the flight with them. Then, as we approached the bottom lock, conveniently left open by a descending boat, a miniscule narrow boat shot out from the side and the chap on the tiller shouted gaily, "We'll share with you." It was an odd little craft, liberally bedecked with old CD's, which he assured us were a work of art. It had a crew of four and I will be kind about them, let us say they were less than skilled in lock operation. Their propensity to wander off halfway through working a lock and their proneness to leave gates and/or paddles open was really not helpful but there was a moment of delicious schadenfreude when they attempted to leave a lock whilst still firmly tied to a bollard. By then my, at the best of times limited, tolerance was nearly at breaking point. Fortunately the top lock arrived shortly before the tolerance ran out.
The moorings above the flight were full but a kindly chap on a hire boat was able to move up just enough for us to squeeze in. It turned out he was ex-R.N. and had spotted my white ensign and was pleased to help out another ex-matelot.
So it was lunch at The New Inn, now thriving under new management, and a restful afternoon.
This morning we are enjoying the attentions of the remains of Hurricane Bertha and nothing will induce me to go out and take photo's.

Watch this space.........

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