Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Monday 20 Sept 2010 Napton

Our first task this morning was assisting Jannock and Enseabee up the flight, on route we tried to assist a boat following by drawing a bottom as we left, but we watched them walk forward, wind down the near side paddle, cross the lock and draw the offside one, so they were doing more winding than they would have if we did nothing. Nearing the top of the flight we caught up with Pilgrim and Levic so I moved on and gave them a hand.
Whilst walking back down I spotted that the boat that had followed us had left an offside top gate open and also an offside paddle up. We were later to discover that they had in fact left three offside top paddles up.
We returned to Harnser and started to make our own way up the flight. Just as we left the first lock a chap walked up with a windlass so I offered to wait for them, but they said they had a second boat with them so we carried on. Looking back at the second lock I could see they were alone and the lady walked up and explained the other boat had changed there minds and they would be very grateful if we waited, which of course we were more than happy to do and it turned out they were very good partners to lock with.
At Calcutt locks there was a queue of 4 boats waiting to go up, but we were only doing two of the locks before stopping to fill with diesel and empty the holding tank which required me to turn round between operations.  This completed it was off up to Napton with very little traffic about, however we met boats inmost pounds which eased our passage.
We had a rather unfortunate incident two locks before the top. As Diana approached the top lock an approaching boat stopped above the lock moorings, the lock had about 2 feet of water in it so Diana raised the paddles to open the gates to let me in. I suspect the other boat thought she turned the lock in his face and as I entered the lock he put his windlass on the top paddle and took the slack up, I though I know what you are going to do but I was wrong. Diana closed one gate and as she stepped across he whizzed the paddle up with the other gate still wide open. I shouted ah him to drop the paddle until the gate was closed which he did and Diana had the sense to keep away from the gate that slammed shut, the then wound the paddle up again. As we left the lock I just thanked him for his help.
We stopped below the top lock to unload the boat into the car as Magic can't cross the gates now and then returned to our mooring before driving home.

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