Sunday, November 11, 2012

Up Hill and Down Dale or Up Lock and Down Lock

Over the past few days, I have realised that I have absolutely no idea what day it is without checking on my phone! As was to be expected I got my dates totally wrong and we are only seeing Jody and Gina next weekend, NOT THIS WEEKEND!! So with an extra 7 days up our sleeves we have decided to go and visit London. More precisely, the Paddington Arm and Little Venice. Jody and Gina will find us where-ever we are next Sunday :)

The swing bridge in the middle of a lock in Fenny Stratford

Foxglove, the boat we hired last year, moored up for the winter at Wyvern Shipping Company, Leighton Buzzard

Out rural mooring between Church Lock and Bridge 118

Views coming into Linslade

On ascending the Marsworth Flight the following day, each pound seemed to be lower than the one before. By the time we reached the last lock in the flight, the water level was at least a foot below normal. Luckily the water here is less 'polluted' with rubbish and we did not collect any artifacts around the propeller. Up along the Tring Summit though we did not seem to have any issues with water depth, although I did read that at the summit, the depth is 30ft.

The weather has continued to be good to us, although this morning was the first morning in quite a while where we were actually able to see frost on the grass, or at least it was still around by the time I surfaced.

Approaching Lock 62 on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead

In comparison, an interesting experience where there was so much water in the pound between two locks, that it was flowing over the top of the 'top' gate at such a rate that the lock would not empty enough for me to open it. That is the water coming over the top was coming in at the same rate as the water going out the bottom gate paddles. Poor (?) Andrew was stuck in the lock with me unable to open the bottom gates until enough water had past over the top lock gate to bring the water level, level with the top gate. At which point the last few inches could drain via the bottom gate paddles and I could then open the lock. Unfortunately Andrew did not take any pictures but I will see what it is like on the return journey
While waiting, another boat approached from behind us and also wanted to go through the lock. Good idea! Refill the lock, which uses about 56,000 gallons of water and this would drop the water level, allowing both of us out the bottom of the lock. So we proceeded to refill the lock, let the second boat in and then reopen the bottom paddles. By the time we had the lock empty this second time, the water was already starting to waterfall over the top gates again. Turns out there is a small river flowing into the pound above the lock! Could be interesting when we come back this way in a few weeks. We might just have to empty the lock a couple of times in order to get the bottom gates open again.

Later it was off to B&Q for bits and pieces to complete various jobs around the boat. Andrew was not able to find all the necessary bits and bobs, so we ended up at Halfords. Much to my delight there was a Bike Hut there and a lovely little blue bike WITH mudguards. So I am now the proud owner of a bike, still in it's box and requiring a bit of time and effort to put it all together. Not sure that I want my new bike getting rained on but also not sure how I will keep it covered when it is placed on the top of the boat, along with Andrew's one. Photo's when it is all put together!

The view from the back of the boat this evening .. Bridge 154 in Hemel Hempstead

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