Friday, November 21, 2014

Two and three-quarter miles, 146½ feet up, three hours.

That was today’s trip up Hatton Locks. It would have been a bit quicker but for an enforced pause up near the waterways depot.

Of all the days for me to sleep in, it had to be today when we wanted an early-ish start. It was a bit of a rush, but I managed to cram in a 5 mile run, breakfast and a quick toilet walk for Meg before we pulled pins.

Lock 26, the bottom of the 21, lies just up from the main A46 road bridge.IMG_2462
No Problem has just gone in.

In Lock 26

We soon got into a routine. Vic and I drew the top paddles when the ladies were in the lock, then Vic stayed with the occupied lock to close up after the boats were out while I went ahead to set the next one up. What also made it easier was the ladies breasting (!!) up in the pound so they came in each chamber together. This saves having to haul the first in over to the side, but needs a couple of very competent steerers. We had those…IMG_2465

Mason’s marks on stone steps

The height of ovine fashion. Odd-coloured eartags and an orange Mohican!IMG_2468
I think the farmer has a sense of humour…

Ugly Bridge (that’s what it’s called, not a personal observation) is about a third of the way up and marks the point where the locks come closer together as the gradient steepens.IMG_2471
To be fair, it’s not the prettiest span on the waterways. But it’s not that bad! The thoroughfare that crosses it is called Ugly Bridge Road. How’s about that for an address!

Looking up from Lock 36IMG_2474

We had a bit of a wait in Lock 41; C&RT were unloading a work boat full of scrap out of the side pounds in Lock 42.

Any old iron…IMG_2475
The vast majority of the detritus was push bikes, some that looked in good nick. Then came the ubiquitous shopping trollies…

We took advantage of the short wait while they cleared the lock to have a brew, then carried on up the last 5 locks.

The end is nigh. The ladies pass the café and gift shop below the top lock.IMG_2480

Hatton Top Lock.

Sue and Vic pulled in for water while we stayed in the lock and I emptied a loo cassette. Then we set off again to find a mooring suitable for a couple of well-earned rest days. There are moorings in the cutting below St. John’s Bridge, but they’re gloomy and damp. We finished up mooring just past the winding hole, about half a mile above the flight.

Sue’s suggestion of a good start to catch that fine weather window very nearly worked. In fact if we hadn’t been held up we’d have just about made it without getting wet. But the last 10 minutes brought a heavy shower. Still, apart from that we only had a few drops about half way up.

A couple of days off now. There’s wood to cut if the weather allows, and the last Formula 1 Grand Prix of the season to watch.

Locks 21, miles 2¾


Adam said...

I think technically, breasting up requires the boats to be tied together. What your boats were doing is what I call 'synchronised boating'!

Steve and Angela said...

2 good days work. Enjoy your days off

Steve and Angela said...

2 good days work. Enjoy your days off

Malcolm said...

I hope the sheep has a sense of humour!