I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday 16 August 2010

Sunday 15th August

We woke up to a grey day which hadn’t been forecast :-( It didn’t take us long to get ourselves organised and then we waited for another boat to come along so we could share the locks. We didn’t have to wait long before Knackered Navvy came along. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer crew to do the 29 locks with. Roger (Father Christmas) and Sue had Fiona with them who was a novice but was an expert by the end and an experienced chap called Richard who I reckon was hyperactive! Roger had gained the name of Father Christmas earlier back on the canal as we kept on coming across him but at that stage he was on his own as, it turns out, Sue was on jury service. Richard II had prepared the first lock before we knew where we were and that’s how it continued throughout the whole flight. It took us four hours to do the all the locks and that was good going! The usual time is 5.5 to 6 hours. If there hadn’t been other boats coming up I reckon we could have done it in 3.5 hours! The first seven locks are normal locks but quite close together then the next sixteen are in the flight with short pounds in between. At the bottom there are a further six normal locks. Sue and I got into a rhythm and were able to move two abreast through most of the locks. This was great until we met boats coming the other way, most of which were hire boats and you never knew if they were experienced or if it was their first time on a boat. Most times we were the nice guys and split so that the other boats could go between us but on the odd occasion we decided that we would just go for it and make the others move over! While we were in the locks we were busy feeding and watering the hungry shore crew and I did a load of washing too! Sue and Roger were stopping at the bottom of the locks as Knackered Navvy is having a paint job which will take about two months! We went just round the corner and moored up. The weather had picked up at lunchtime so we sat on the towpath in lovely sunshine and recovered! My knee was a little bit painful after all the standing but after an hour of sitting reading my book with my leg up it had recovered. Richard went off for a bike ride and I cooked a lamb concoction – which even though I say it myself was rather nice.

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