Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Be Not Down-Hearted

Why?  Because sometimes, just sometimes, a lucky break awaits!

Last night, moored all alone at the top of the Hatton Flight, today’s task seemed a somewhat daunting prospect.  21 double locks in 2 miles.  The guidebook said to allow 4 hours.  Now, is this based on two boats?  At least two lock wheelers?  Locks all being in one’s favour?  Well, I decided that if we were on our own, with just me doing the locks and all the locks against us I would need to allow at least 4 hours ….. if not 5!!  So, WE GOT UP EARLY!!  I know a lot of you will find that hard to believe but, we did!  A  “J.D.I.” day ahead of us – Just Do It!!

Two locks down and we were in a rhythm of operating just one side.  John was in charge of closing the top gates once he’d got the boat in the lock and then, if he could, lifting one of the bottom paddles.  I, in the meantime, was filling the next lock in readiness.  At one point he had to run!  I won’t go into details but – sorry John – it was impossible not to laugh!

THEN:  Along came Howard!  A gallant volunteer lock wheeler dressed in resplendent C&RT royal blue!  He committed to helping us down the entire flight!

THEN:  Along came Richard -  also voluntarily and dressed in identical royal blue attire.

God Bless the boys in royal blue!  Despite the rain and ‘donating’ one of them to a greater cause two thirds of the way down, we were in the Saltisford Arm by 11 am having a pump out and getting coal and gas.

We’re still here!  Frustrating admin to attend to.  AND …… lots of rain.  What a surprise!

I left John in charge of getting a couple of decent pictures but he said that he was far too busy, shutting all the gates, winding up all the paddles and …… running!! (not like ‘The Bolt’ I hasten to add!!!!!!!!!!!!)  xxoo

1 comment:

  1. and you have NO photos of John running? Ange I am soooo disappointed. Yes I was sceptical about your early start but you did it. WELL DONE (said slightly patronizingly!!) Good to talk to you on Monday. See you soon xxxxxx