Sunday, 22 November 2009

Cosgrove to Stoke Bruerne. 5 Locks.

Saturday morning and the weather was holding for the better again. Not quite believing our luck we headed off for Stoke Bruerne again.

I have described this part of the Grand Union before as "Like being in Chocolate Box country", but today with the winter sunshine weakly breaking through and a fair wind blowing, it took on an air of desolation and loneliness.

This sign is always good for a chuckle, one of them is smoking a pipe and holding a walking stick, while the other has a Zimmer frame.

The bottom lock had its own collection of very free range chickens.
No free eggs though.

We were only ever going to do five of the seven locks in this flight today, but at this stage it looked like we might not even manage three.
The water level in the pounds (area of water between locks) was down by a good three feet causing Ubique to run aground on the top cill of each lock as I tried to get out.
When this happens D has to let more water into the pound from the next lock up but being careful not to drain the pound above that one.
You only need a few inches of water under the baseplate (Keel, if you like) to float and move on so it is a bit of a balancing act.

Reaching the last of the five we found the water pouring over the bottom gates.
This brought back memories of our trip up to the Standedge tunnel where we witnessed the exact same problems. That time though there were lots of BW staff on hand to make sure you didn't drain all the water from one pound to the other.
A good bit of training for us.

Before I could even get into the lock the "Gongoozlers" arrived as if by magic with their comments and questions such as,
We have never seen this done before, do you really live on board? and aren't you worried that your boat might blow over in the wind!!!!!!!!........ Classic.
Then they got stuck in helping with the gates....... which is always good!

It's Sunday now, the wind is strong and the rain wet, moving on?

Until next time.............................

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