About Me

My photo
After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Saturday 4 May 2013

Canalway Cavalcade 3.

We were up early to catch a bus to Brentford to assist the remaining BBC boats through the gauging locks and then up through the other ten locks to Bulls Bridge. Our timing was just right and we were each on one of the two locks to get the fourteen club boats through in just less than an hour. As each lock could accommodate two boats and were electrically operated, it was not hard work. Originally, these locks were where the loaded boat would have been gauged with a rod that measured the freeboard and so calculated how many tons each boat was carrying, as tolls were measured by the ton per mile. I hitched a lift on nb Nancy Bell to the next lock and then with nb Yum Sing to try and get ahead of the pack, but it was not to be and I ended up working the locks for them and nb Take Wine, but I could at least walk up and set the next lock once we reached the Hanwell flight, so speeding up progress. It was a very sunny day and hard work, but rewarding at the same time.
A well deserved break whilst waiting for another lock to fill. (photo by Betty Smith)

Ian and Betty plied me with sustenance and beer, which was very welcome.
There's more than one way to open a pair of gates! (photo by Betty Smith)

We reached Bulls Bridge mid-afternoon and were moored up four abreast. Although there was no pub within easy reach, drinks were taken on the towpath and the days events discussed in detail, before we dispersed for a well earned rest.

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