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

Thursday 4 August 2016

New House Farm Bridge - 21 (Grand Union/Leicester Line) – Wednesday 3rd August

I took a day off blogging yesterday as it was such a foul day and we didn’t do anything.  However, the time that I would have spent blogging was put to good use as I cleaned the bathroom, hob, oven, microwave and sink – feeling very righteous now!

We had Watford Locks to do today so we were up early and away by 8.50am.  We used the services at Buckby top lock and then turned right at Norton Junction and onto the Leicester Line.  Of course there was a queue at the bottom of the Watford locks and the hire boat in front of us wanted to turn round but he was stuck on the bottom at the side.  After a lot of pushing and pulling he got free and turned.  I walked up to put our name down for the locks and was told we had a long wait – I had already guessed that!  It was 10.30am.  It was midday when we went through the first lock and we up and out by 12.40pm. 


Watford locks consist of two single locks, a staircase of four, and a final single lock. Together they lift the canal 52 feet 6 inches.  When doing the locks its “red before white and you’ll be alright – white before red and you’re dead!”  This refers to the colour of the lock gear that needs to be operated.  The red one opens the paddles to fill the bottom lock and the white one opens the paddle to drain the upper lock.  The water from the upper lock goes into a side pound which then goes into the lower lock.  If you open them the wrong way round you can drain the side pound and cause all sorts of problems.

Under the M1
The wind started to get up as we went up the locks and by the time we got to the top it was very windy.  We pulled over for lunch then moved on.  Through Crick Tunnel – which seemed to go on for ever – and past Crick.  Fortunately, we didn’t want to stop as the place was rammed!  We planned to moor at Yelvertoft Wharf but there doesn’t appear to be any public mooring now – only long term.  We pulled in a short way past Yelvertoft in the middle of nowhere and with no other boats in sight – until another boat pulled in right in front of us!!  Why did he feel the need to do that when there were yards of nice empty mooring! 

The wind really started to get up and we were rocked about – sometimes quite hard!  I guess we are quite high here, I just hope it dies down through the night.

7.90 miles
8 locks
1 tunnel

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