Thursday, 9 July 2009

A good night and a decent day to follow

Well Spud, Spud's very nice girlfriend and James, Spud's partner (business partner, that is) came round and we sat out on the front deck emptying bottles of beer and wine until the sun had long gone.
Felt remarkably chipper despite it all this morning. We dawdled up to our bete noire, the seven big, heavy locks of the Buckby Flight (stopping on the way to pay £2.50 to chuck the contents of our bog down a drain hole at Whilton Marina. Money down the drain I guess.)
The Buckby Locks bring back memories of our first trip on Star; hurrying to get there before they closed for winter maintenance in a week long trip that started in bright sunshine but finished in snow, freezing nights and iced over canals. We made it, just.
Tonight we're parked up on the Grand Union Leicester Section ready for another lock flight - at Watford (of Watford Gap service area fame not the other one). We wandered up the towpath, past the back end of the motorway truck park to take a look -- and rather wished we hadn't.
Four of the locks are a 'staircase' which means one leads straight into the next without a gap between. Water coming out of one, fills the one below. Well, sort of. A helpful sign explained how to work it "red and white paddles work in pairs, always open a red one then a white one, keep a lock beam between them". Clear? Er, no, said Vicky reading it. The lock-keeper did his best to explain. Clear now? Er, no. It'll be alright when you're in them, he smiled. And proceeded to explain how he got nine boats going up and down through seven locks to save water. Clear on that one? Er, no!
For some reason Vicky has voted me as lock-operator for tomorrow.

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