Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Watford Locks…

We trundled off to Watford Locks this morning, wondering how long we would have to wait before being able to ascend, as we had heard reports that the average waiting time was between 3 and 5 hours.  As it turns out we were in luck, we were third in the queue to go up (they were letting six at a time up and down).  The first of the six coming down was exiting the bottom lock as we arrived, and we only waited just over an hour – it would have been slightly less, but a boat broke down in the 3rd of the staircase and had to be bow-hauled out and through the 4th lock into the pound above the 2 single locks to await repair.  It was very windy, and we had a job to keep the bottom gates shut while we got to the paddle gear.  We could have done with a locky to hold one shut while we let some water down, but, as usual, if you know what you’re doing they let you get on with it, which is as it should be I suppose.  I didn’t take particular notice of the time when we started and finished, but I know we were through and on our way by just after midday.  Next to negotiate was Crick Tunnel – it was raining in the tunnel!  We have never before had to pass so many boats in a tunnel – 6 in all, with 3 more heading towards it as we exited –  loads of boats going in the opposite direction to us – we wondered what they knew that we didn’t!  We found a mooring just opposite Crick Marina, and decided to stop for the day.

SDC11179Reflections – taken yesterday evening at Norton Junction

SDC11180Watford Locks – in the first of the staircase 4 with the two single locks below


SDC11182Rog preparing the last lock in the flight as it was so windy, so I could go straight in, but in the event I chickened out and made him take over at the helm!

5 miles and 7 locks

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