Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Bascote (practically all the locks set against me again)

I had to go up ten locks on Tuesday and as rain was forecast in the afternoon I set out early.  When cruising it can feel very cold standing on the back of the boat as I am just standing still so I have decided that I ought to let Buddy wear his coat as he doesn’t even warm up doing the locks!  When Karen and I lock together then he doesn't really need it as he walks along the towpath with her.  He gets really excited when I get his coat out so at least it’s not a struggle putting it on. 

Buddy showing off his coat

We went up six locks before stopping for lunch and every one apart from the last was set against me.  You can usually tell if a lock is full and therefore set against you because you can see water leaking between the gates.  A sure sign that there is water in the lock and you need to empty it before going in.

This lock (Fosse Bottom lock) is set against us as you can see from the tell-tale water leaking between the gates. Buddy and I take the steps whilst the boat carries on into the lock (unless the steps are replace by metail ladder as Buddy can't climb ladders)

Sure enough, when Buddy went up to check, he could see the lock was full

Fosse Middle lock was even worse – one of the top gates was open so I had to close that before emptying the lock.  The reflections show how still it was.

Chicken keeping seems to be getting more popular with continuous cruisers.  We’ve not seen this boat or its chickens before.

Chicken coop on the towpath

The fifth lock of the day was Wood lock and not only was it set for me, one of the bottom gates was open so I could just cruise straight in

Wood lock ready for me to go straight in

When locks are like this, it saves a lot of time as you don’t have to moor up and walk to the lock to set it.  We just cruise in, Buddy jumps off first and I follow with a line and the windlass.  I trot up the steps, feeding the line over the gate and bring the boat to a stop before it reaches the top gates.  The steps running up the side of each lock can be seen in the first lock picture above.  Sometimes the steps have been replaced by iron ladders and as I can’t trot up those I stay on the boat and then climb up the ladders inside the lock once the boat has stopped.

We stopped for lunch above Welsh Road lock

We stayed by Welsh Road lock for a couple of weeks in the summer and got friendly with the guy who lived there.  The other day I was chatting to a boater in Warwick and we got talking about Welsh Road lock as he often stays there for a couple of weeks.  He told me that the lock cottage man invited him for Christmas lunch when he was moored there over Christmas last year.

The final two locks of the day were a staircase of two and as I saw a boat rapidly catching up with me I waited for them to join me.  They were a pleasant couple whom we have met before.  They own a share in the boat which is based at Braunston.  In fact we see the boat around quite a lot so the share owners are either pretty active or there are a lot of them.  This couple weren’t getting another break in it until June so that’s quite a wait but the wife is something to do with the tennis circuit and so is usually abroad when their turn on the time share comes around.

Sharing the final locks of the day with nb Apperley

We moored up at Bascote just as it started to rain.  I nearly forgot to send Karen the post code  - no doubt I will one day!

Over the weekend we had picked out some new recipies that we both fancied so I cooked the Hairy Bikers' fat-free Spanish style chicken bake for when she came home.

It was delicious and we will definitely have it again

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