Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Wednesday 24 December 2014 Hazelhurst Locks

Nice and quiet last night other than the sound of the rain, thankfully all the geese cleared off early evening, that just left the sound of the rain.

This morning was bright and clear, but colder than yesterday. The sun was up and very few clouds to be seen.DSCF7855 We pushed off at 9-15 AM and straight into the Bedford Street staircase locks.
The bottom chamber has a very large overflow, maybe it was enlarged because people operated the lock incorrectly and flooded the lower chamber? I am sure that with a shallower overflow very little water would be lost over it with correct operation.DSCF7857

We passed notices appealing for sighting of the poor chap that was found in the canal on Monday near the park. 

We had a slight misunderstanding with bridge 9, I lowered the exhaust but the bridge was about a foot lower than I realised so it wiped out the weather station and ripped the chimney from the diesel stove which rolled off the roof into the cut before I could catch it. We did manage to find it again feeling around under the bridge with the boat pole and once located managed to retrieve it with the boat hook. I was pleased to get it back as its a twin walled stainless steel one costing about £250. I was quite surprised that under the bridge in the centre of the canal I was unable to touch the bottom with the boat hook. The chimney required a slight bashing with the windlass before I could get it to fit on the stub again.

Over the course of the day the wind picked up and the temperature seemed to drop a bit lower and we even saw a rainbow this afternoon so someone was getting a bit of rain from all the dark clouds that had been gathering.

One thing that has changed since we were last this way is that Ivy House lift bridge has been recommissioned and is now normally down again. It now has nice automatic bleepers, barriers and a stainless control panel that works on the tow path side just north of the road, it is hidden away a bit. DSCF7861I think it now opens faster than it closes.


Today our luck with locks ran out and they have all been against us. We found a boat moored on the lock moorings just below the top lock of the Stockton Brook Locks, he didn’t moor at one end, but right in the middle. Just through the bridge above the locks CaRT have been piling the bank and installing new lock moorings (where the work boat is moored) The strange thing is that they have edged it with what looks to be 4” galvanised angle iron with the angle sticking out over the water.It should be an interesting edge.DSCF7869

The Foxley pub at the old Foxley Junction was quite nicely lit, it was here that the Foxley Branch joined the main canal   DSCF7866We carried on to the top of the Hazelhurst locks where we turned right onto the Leek arm to moor for the night. As you can see at 3-30 PM the sun was well down and just catching the top of the hill across the Caldon Canal. Tomorrow we will back up to the junction and continue down the Caldon to Froghall     DSCF7872

We had not been moored long and there was a tap tap on the porthole, looking out there was Rachel who had walked down to find us. Her partner Richard follows our blog and from our travel pattern had correctly worked out where we would be tonight and sent her down to find us. Congratulations Richard.

map 3Today’s journey 9.3 miles 2 canals, 1 junction, 7 normal locks and 1 staircase lock in 6 hours.

1 comment:

Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

I expect the lock mooring will have a wooden (or plastic looking like wood) insert when it's finished.