Can You Breath?! 23rd April

Lapworth Lock 6 to Rowington Hill Bridge 62, Grand Union Canal

Signing in to the Geraghty Zoom this morning was successful, last week we’d had serious problems and had to go around the houses to be able to join and even then we were silent. Today we seemed to be silent again! We signed out and tried again! Mick went into the laptop settings and found that the microphone was off, turned it back on and hey presto we had voices again! The laptop keeps having moments and needs to be put in recovery mode, we suspect this turns the microphone off. At least we know now.

We were beaten to the locks by a boat with many many hands, soon after a boat came from the locks, maybe one lock would be in our favour.

May hands

I went ahead to Lock 7 once Oleanna was in Lock 6 above. I checked round the bend there was a boat coming up a couple of locks away, so I filled lock 7. Soon afterwards a volunteer lockie arrived on his bike. The next pound is on a bend and quite short, so it can be hard for two boats to pass there, the same with the one below. I asked should I empty the lock in favour of the ascending boat, no we’d get past each other.

Such a pretty lock

We were soon joined by the crew from the up coming hire boat, Oleanna descended, their boat waiting in the lock below. Mick brought Oleanna out and pointed her nose towards the side pound and bywash, now the hire boat could cross to the lock above, biffing the sides as it entered. Mick reversed, straightened up and brought her in. We now had the flight to ourselves with the aid of three volunteers.

One chap set ahead, another accompanied us down the flight with his bike, lifting paddles and opening gates, a slick operation.

I went ahead to close a gate behind Oleanna when there was a loud bang/pop noise. The volunteer had just climbed onto his bike to ride down to join us, had he got a puncture? We both turned to see what had happened. It wasn’t a tyre at all. The chap was now sporting a large yellow inflated life jacket around his neck. The self inflate toggle had been caught as he’d set off!

Packing away his life jacket

When this happened to me a few years ago I actually found it quite hard to breath with the inflated jacket around my neck. I shouted to the chap, ‘Can you breath?’ He didn’t reply, he obviously couldn’t hear! Gradually he deflated his jacket and tucked it back into the outer, the gas canister would now need replacing and there were none on hand at Lapworth. Towards the bottom of the first thick of locks he mentioned about the cafe and what lovely cakes they do. We were wanting to keep going so did so as the volunteers headed off for a cuppa and a slice of cake.

Cake shop just below the lock

The next thick of locks we were by ourselves, we dropped straight into the routine. I don’t mind volunteers, I’ll be glad of them (hopefully) at Hatton, but working locks is why I boat and at times I’m starting to feel a touch left out. I may have to become a volunteer myself. Maybe I just need a C&RT sweatshirt, my life jacket is the right sort, so I could pose as a volunteer!

We made our way down to the water point which was free and hooked up the hose. I popped to the Village Shop for a newspaper and returned with a couple of cream eggs too as the minimum spend on a card was £5! Oh dear, never mind!

One coming up Lock 21

As we finished a boat was heading up who wanted to use the water point, so the two boats did a do-ci-do. We then branched off to use Lock 20 pointing us in the direction of Kingswood Junction. We pulled in, made use of the elsan and had lunch before pushing off again and turning right towards Hatton.

We’ll go that way please

The wind was now picking up as forecast. Should we pull in or battle on to where we’d like to moor? We carried on another mile or so taken off tomorrows cruise. The embankment above Rowington was most certainly windy. It helped us moor without much effort!

Tilly set off to explore whilst Mick and I put back the covers. Now our mend to the zip on the cratch had sadly failed the other day. Mick had tried to give the pull another squash to get it to work better, but it looked like it was now too tight to do the job properly. With the open side facing the wind we needed to do something about it before we had a sleepless night and the cover ended up getting more damage.

Tilly clinging on so she doesn’t get blown away

He tried prising the pull out a touch. That didn’t go according to plan! He tried putting back in a press stud to hold the bottom of the doorway closed, but that press stud had always been in the wrong place when entering locks so instead of being sacrificial I’d filled its hole and we’d dispensed with it. Next spare magnets from the drawers were tried. These held while Mick watched, but as soon as his back was turned the cover escaped and wafted around in the wind!

Only one thing for it, the zip would need sewing closed. Not the prettiest job, but hopefully it will serve the purpose until a more permanent mend can be done.

Click photo to go to recipe

This evening we’ve enjoyed Sichuan Pork and greens.

15 locks, 2.94 miles, 2 canals, 1 left, 1 right, 3 volunteers, 1 inflating surprise, 1 newspaper without the good bits! 2 cream eggs, 2 outsides, 1 very blowy day.

3 thoughts on “Can You Breath?! 23rd April

  1. Dave (Scouts)

    I know what you mean about doing the locks.
    We were on the GU Leicester section, from Market Harborough last week. Boatyard suggested we went up Foxton flight instead of heading to Leicester and once the volunteer lockies had instructed us in correct operation of the flight they were more than happy to let the two of us run the flight and it was good to do the work.
    I’m not saying it was boring from there to the watford flight and back, but the one lock on the welford arm was a welcome distraction.
    I can see though that a pair would welcome help, whereas we had my wife Rose at the helm with our friend Bill and myself lockwheeling.
    But that road swingbridge on the harborough arm was heavy.

    1. Pip

      Hope you enjoyed your week. We like the top pound along there but it could do with a few more things to do to keep me busy. Suspect the blackthorn blossom had finished, it can be stunning up there.

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