Saturday, 3 March 2012

2 March 2012 Back at Floods Ferry

Last night we ate at Bygones Bistro in Whittlesey12  which was very enjoyable with good service. As we walked back to the boat the sky was very clear and it was turning cool, overnight the temperature dropped to 0.6°.

We woke this morning to thick mist and even when we were ready to set off at 0950 hrs. we were still unable to see the locks from our mooring which were less than 300 yards away.

17This lock is somewhat unusual in that the paddles or slackers as they are called in these parts are lifted by nothing more than a length of threaded rod. Although its a square cut thread  it is not the large open worm as used on the northern Grand Union locks.
21One result of this is that the number of turns required, about 70 is the height the paddle is lifted divided by the thread pitch. There is no gearbox, the windless goes straight on the end of the threaded rod, which in turn is supported by a large bearing. The threaded rod goes down into a hollow rod with an internal thread that is connected to the top of the paddle, so every time the lock is used the threaded rod is submerged into the water collecting muck and corrosion.
22As can be seen by the bywash there is quite a lot of water coming down the waterway at the moment, much more than last time we were here. It is only a couple of hours cruise from here back to our  home moorings.


The Middle Level Commissioners seem very wild life and environmentally  aware and have been installing owl boxed on the ends of their pumping stations. As part of   the Middle Level Biodiversity Partnership

Young Otters in the holt
they have constructed 65 Otter holt, most of these are permanently fitted with infra red cameras to record  activity underground without causing any disturbance.


51On our way home we decided to take a ride via Welches Dam Lock. This was last restored jointly by IWA and the National River Authority in 1999, 44unfortunately it is no longer possible to use the lock as the Environment Agency have installed piles right across the mouth, I don’t know why because the top gates seal much better than the piling does as the water level each side of the piling is the same, but the level of the 43lock is a good two foot lower. The lock its self looks in very good condition but it is only 45ft. long so even if was open not all boats would be able to use it.
Looking back towards the Middle Level and Horseway Lock where we were moored a few days ago. I 50don’t know when this lock was last used but there is still a very clear sign telling you not to swim from the Lock Landing. I think you would be hard pushed to do that today.


47Nothing to do with waterways but we spotted these strange hairy Mangalitzas pigs by the lock, apparently they are an endangered species..

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