Saturday 5 September 2020


 Today's Canal - Grand Union

The day started bright and sunny and remained that way until later in the afternoon, after we had moored.

Our overnight mooring, two locks up the Hatton 21, was surrounded by trees and shrubs giving a dappled appearance in the sunshine.

We delayed our start a little in the hope that another boat would come along and we could join with them going up the remaining 19 locks. Alas none came and, as we could see back down the first two, would not arrive any time soon. In the end we had to give in and set off on our own. At least the sunshine made everything look much better!

Unlike most canals, the locks here were built to a standard pattern and the rise is the same for each one. This means that we could get into a rhythm of  how we operated each one. On the other hand, the distance between them varies, rather more at first, getting much closer towards the top half. So there were some variations and also for the odd occasion when a volunteer lent a hand. Alas none seemed to stay consistently with anyone.

The former narrow locks form overflow weirs at each lock.

That bee on the bridge has been here for some years now, according to our picture library. Calling it Ugly Bridge does seem rather harsh of someone in the past. Another positive feature: just the other side Christine spotted a way through to a Shell filling station on the A4177 where she was able to pick up a copy of today's newspaper. As it is larger (and more expensive) on a Saturday is is a shame to miss it as we have prepaid!

As we came nearer to the top of the flight there were graphically more onlookers, especially families with small children. As always we enjoyed getting several of them to lend a hand. It is quite refreshing to see how surprised - and delighted - they can be when they find that they can move such a large object. Delighted parents, and even more delighted grandparents, eagerly take action photos! Alas, these days we feel rather nervous about taking any pictures in which young children can be identified and then using them in a blog. Only four more locks to o once at the canal workshops.

We had seen only two other boats going down but two were waiting as we came up the top lock so no time to stop and take pictures. Actually, that is a bit of an excuse as we stopped at the water point just a boat length above the lock but we needed some reason other than lack of attention. At least this was an opportunity for a full range service.

Once that was over we pulled forward a short distance, passing a few long term moorings, to stop on the first visitor mooring we could find! A well earned lunch after which it took a little effort to stir ourselves once more but at least we knew we only had about an hour to cruise and NO LOCKS to arrive at our planned overnight stop. For once quite early and we could enjoy the extra break - the sunshine had not entirely deserted us.

5.2 Miles - 19 Locks

1 comment:

  1. There is a crucial 1 missing near the start of the blog — 9 locks are a very different prospect from 19!