This chap has found a cheap way to paint below the water line on his cruiser, its just suspended from under a bridge on a set of chain blocks. For some reason Picketts lock has been renamed to Alfie’s Lock, I have no idea when of why this was done. An interesting little notice on the lock keepers cottage suggesting we should still pay a toll for passing through the lock.
We passed Lee Park Distribution Centre which is about 200,000 square feet and looking at Google view is just huge, the bit that sticks out over the river in only a tiny bit of it. For some reason there are some strange sculptures along this section,I spotted the first just after the lock and then saw this one in the middle of nowhere.Some of the locks have some interesting lock furniture left over from when barges use to work the river, like the mooring hook at the mouth of the lock to hold the barge while the lock was turned, No lines fore and aft with a centre one for good measure in those days, just hold the bow in the mouth of the lock and let the water out. Inside the lock there are hooks or bollards set into the lock wall to stop the barges hitting the top gates as the lock filled, no drawing paddles one click at a time.
Above Enfield lock there is another complete waste of our money with dozens of these floating frame things chained to the steel piling, I can only guess they were to set floating plants in, but they are a complete failure with 90% completely empty and the others with just a few things growing, they even run across the mouth of the weir unless they are ones that have broken away. One thing I noticed about some of the locks up here is that they have ground paddles at the bottom and gate paddles at the top which is the opposite way round to most canals. The other strange thing at Rammey Marsh Lock is that the paddles are manual requiring a windlass but the bottom gates are powered requiring the use of a BW key to open the small panel.
Thanks to a posting from Les on my Blog yesterday, http://boatlife.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/lee-valley-white-water-centre.htm
we stopped between Waltham Town Lock and the next bridge to visit the white water canoe course. Its a spectacular development, I hate to think how much electricity they uses every day. I thought the boat lift to get them back to the top was quite interesting.
When we returned to Harnser there were several holiday makers walking the towpath an one lady from the Philippines asked to have her photograph taken with me by the back of the boat to which of course I agreed. One of the male members explained they were over for 7 weeks as this is the Monsoon season back home. I gave them my card so if they read this maybe they will send me a copy of the photo.
We only met a couple of boats this morning but as soon as we were about to set off this afternoon several came by so we waited at every lock. There are very few official winding holes on the rive as in most stretches it is wide enough to turn, but this one below aqueduct Lock has a wide beamed CRT work boat moored directly opposite it.As we approached Aqueduct lock I noticed on the bottom gates there is a large circular red and green patch, I take it this shows port and starboard but why you would want to know which is which I cant imagine, unless someone painted them for a joke.(sorry the colours don’t show very well)
We decided to stop in Broxbourne and have moored just in front of the Narrowboat we shared with last week on the GU, its quite shallow but the bow is near the bank even if the stern is 4 feet away.