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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The dangers of badly maintained locks

Had one hell of a fright today. In a lock as well!! Once again I was at the helm and watching as Ian opened the paddles to start filling the lock.  We must have been about a third of the way up when the boat started tipping sideways! I shouted at Ian to drop the paddles but the noise of the water whooshing in stopped him from hearing me. I was starting to panic when suddenly the boat came free and rocked alarmingly from side to side. Ian had by now looked back and saw the rocking boat wandered what had happened. He saw I was visibly shaken and couldn't apologies enough for not keeping an eye on what the boat was doing. One thing I had noticed on entering Bottom Side Lock was the state of the lock wall brickwork. What I think happened was the rubbing strake on the bow had caught on the damaged brickwork and the force of the water on the side of the boat had held it there for a short while. I feel we need to report this as I was the only boat in the lock. What might have happened if two boats had been caught. Doesnt bare thinking about. I took this photo from Top Side lock, the next lock up. Brickwork as you can see, is equally as bad!

After the shock had worn off, the rest of the day went without hitch. All the locks were in our favour, a few having bottom paddles left up because the locks were to be left empty. Something to do with leaky lock walls ( well fancy that!) and water damage to neighbouring farms and cottages. All in all we traveled a lot further then normal today doing all of 6 1/2 miles and 13 locks. Both of us fancy a day looking round Marsworth, the Reservoir and wildlife center tomorrow.

Visitor at Top Side Lock

Only one gate operational at Lock 55 Rising Sun.

Anchor block has moved. Its the bit that holds the gate upright.

One in, one out. Hyperion entering the lock next to us to sell us 2 25kg bags of smokeless coal. Cost £8.75 each.

And finally:-

1 comment:

Steve Parkin said...

Like the pictures (especially of the cat). I have linked to your blog - could you do the same, Best wishes, Steve

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