Flecknoe (It’s hard work being retired)

By 9.30 on Thursday morning I had taken Buddy out, had breakfast, done a load of washing, been through three locks and taken on water - and my family think I have it easy!

The pound above the first lock was very low so I had to get the second lock ready with the gate open so I could go straight in.  It would have been too shallow to moor up on the side to get the next lock ready.

Low pound between Calcutt Bottom and Middle locks

Sam and her husband live on the blue boat and are often stranded like this

Sam has a couple of Labradors that have a good play with Buddy whenever we meet up.  One of their dogs is frightened of the locks and I’m always amazed when I see Sam lifting the dog up and carrying it across the lock gates.  I’m amazed because it’s a large dog and has to be held with both arms so she can’t hold onto the gate rails when crossing.

As the pound was so low, Buddy couldn’t jump off onto the side when we went into the lock so I left him on board and I climbed the lock ladder.  I had cut a slice of apple cake for an early mid-morning snack.  As Buddy is good with food I knew I could trust him not to eat it whilst I was off the boat.

Buddy ignoring (but looking at) the tempting cake on a plate

After the top lock I did a nifty little reverse manoeuvre in the wind to get to the water point.  Of course, the manoeuvre was perfect because there was no one around to see it!

Taking on water after the top lock

Whilst we were taking on water, a CRT maintenance guy appeared and set about sorting out the low pound.  I seem to remember seeing this problem several times this year.  The chap confirmed that it’s nearly always a daily occurrence but is not due to be fixed until next winter at the earliest.

We moored at Flecknoe in time for lunch and then when for a good long walk.  Part of our walk took in the locks we went up this morning so I was able to check on progress on the drained pound.

All back to normal

When we got back, a couple more boats were moored near us and I bumped into Kath.  She and her husband, Mike, work in Birmingham and we last met up at Hawkesbury Junction back at the beginning of September.  As always it's good to catch up with fellow boaters and swap stories. 

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