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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.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Universal sign language needed for the cut!

I was gutted yesterday. There I was fishing and catching loads of tiddlers when a Kingfisher put in an appearance on the tree opposite. I had my camera and started to focus and was just about to click the button when it flew off! The shot wold have been brilliant as it's perch was directly in the sunlight and showed off the Kingfishers vibrant colours beautifully. I hoped it would come back early this morning but it wasn't to be and with the weatherman saying it would be dry all day, I reluctantly agreed with Ian to move and head off for Branston Water Park.

Shadehouse lock

Now the reason for my heading is the confusion that happens when two boats meet at bridge 'oles or  when they are between locks. Firstly the bridge 'ole dilemma. Two boats traveling the same speed reach the bridge 'ole at the same time. Both boats go into reverse and both boaters signal to each other to go through. Who goes first? If we could have a hand signal to indicate that one is coming through, wouldn't it be easier? Much better then both boats either sitting waiting for the other or both setting off. Then there are the locks. Fradley in particular but any distant lock in long pounds would do. This is what we had the dilemma about. Descending at Middle lock we spied another boat in the distance on its way up Junction lock. This lock is just before the left turn onto the Coventry canal. So do we   move on and leave the gates open just in case they don't turn into the junction or would closing them against the boat that may be coming up be a better idea?  Another scenario is seeing a boat exiting a far lock with a long pound in between. Both leave the gates open for each other and then one moors up! Do you go back to close the gates or leave them open? To me if we could somehow have an universal hand signal stating our purpose it would loose all the confusion. What do you think?

Our dilemma was saved by a family prepared to close Middle lock gates if the Shakespeare boat had tuned onto the Coventry. You can see the little girl waiting in pink.

Rower being flushed away by us opening a paddle at Hunts lock. It's okay though, as Ian did say he would wait but the gentleman said to continue as it may get him back to his boat Huff an Puff quicker!

New art work at the approach to Bagnall lock Alrewas

Thankfully the river section was open. We did wonder if all that rain a couple of days ago would scupper our getting to Branston Water park. Alrewas was deserted! I have never seen it this empty in all the years we have traveled through the village.
Looking toward Alrewas lock and the river section

And looking back. Usually there are at least 3 or 4 boats moored

Strange that the advisory boards said to be cautious. River levels still in the green.

Passing the weir we had a slight pull to the right

T'was flowing a tad faster then normal

This gives one the impression that Barton Turn lock was closed.

The Aware tape was on because the stepping board had been removed.

Someone must have hit Barton Turn bottom lock gate pretty hard!

We didn't quite make the water park in the dry, the rain having started about a mile from our destination and, apart from a brief lull when I went for a walk, it's began tipping it down again and if the news forecaster was correct, will be throughout the night!

And finally:-


Wozie nb Oakfield said...

We usually give way to the boat nearest the bridge hole, but it is anoying when both boats do so.
With leaving lock gates open, I usually use wide arm signals,then shout my loudest to ascertain if they are coming into the lock!

Anonymous said...

A universal signal would be very useful - we had an altercation with a historic boat at a bridge recently "it's my bridge" he said as he jammed his nose into a bridge that we were already three-quarters through!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

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