Friday, 12 April 2013

Four locks on

It rained overnight, quite hard, but we've been lucky today and managed to get our boating done with only minor dampness. This is what comes of putting the full wet weather gear on, of course.

We had a straightforward run up Junction, Middle and Shade House Locks, passing just one boat on the way. The trees on the offside above Shade House and on the towpath side below Wood End have been decorated with what look like some kind of insect traps:

Any ideas on what they might be, folks?

Wood End Lock posed a bit of a problem as the bottom gates didn't quite mitre shut. I tried emptying the lock and opening and closing them, but to no avail. The leakage wasn't enough to stop the lock filling enough to open the top gates, and as there was a boat waiting to go down we carried on.

I tried giving C&RT a ring on their new all purpose number, 03030 404040, got through OK but was then transferred to the desk of Cedric who looks after reports for this area. Unfortunately, Cedric was on holiday and all I got was an answer phone message that included the number of the Fazeley office, given rather rapidly, in case of an emergency.

I decided that as navigation was still possible this didn't constitute an emergency and left a message for him on his return on Monday.

It's not a good arrangement, C&RT. If it had been a real emergency with a major breach or something, I shouldn't need to dial a second number to report it. Indeed, the first option when you get through should be "If this is an emergency, press 1" and result in being connected to a permanently manned number.

We're on our own on this side of Bridge 55, where we're planning to stay for the weekend. There's another boat just through the bridge, Communicator out of Braunston.

I've been able to finish the paint touching in, and we've done some wood collecting to top up the supply of kindling. We also had an amble along the towpath in very pleasant spring sunshine.

It's started raining now, right enough, and Sunday looks pretty dire, but we should be able to move on on Monday OK.

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