Chris and I settled down for the evening and had a lovely ploughman's salad with skrummy pickle. This was washed down with a can of Speckled egg (as Chris once called it. Speckled Hen of course).
Shortly after we became aware of a roar of water that steadily grew in volume. AmyJo suddenly surged forward and was held on taught mooring lines. Investigation revealed a torrent of water cascading over the bottom lock.
Of course we have seen this before but of concern was the fact the flow was steadily increasing and further, was even beginning to run down the steps either side. The boat in the lock looked like it was caught on the gate and was in trouble. Clearly something was wrong.
Myself and a nice young lady in the boat behind us rushed up to the lock to offer help only to find the crew calmly sitting down below having a cup of tea, blissfully unaware of the danger they were facing. Worse still the boat was only held in place by the centre line. God only knows what would have happen had it parted.
It was clear someone had left a paddle open further up the flight so we went to the next lock where two boats going up were struggling to open the top gate due to the flow. I spotted one of the lower gates had been left open on the next lock up so I politely asked the crew if they had shut the paddles when they came through (just to eliminate that with out walking up) and one of the women of the crew scowled and snapped at me " of course, we did our bit properly! There is an elderly couple going up ahead of us, its them not us". With an attitude like that we left them to it prompt. At that point we also found out someone had gone on ahead to locate the open paddles. With the help of a young lad I closed the open gate which stemmed the flow long enough while the lock filled for the boats below to settle and leave the locks before the flow returned.
On my way back the young lady that had come along with me looked strangely familiar though I could not think why until I returned to AmyJo and, when I looked at the boat behind, her name dawned on me.
The young lady was none other than Mortimer Bones. When she returned I introduced myself properly and we chatted about the event for a while until the flow over the gate subsided. Clearly the paddles had been shut or, the upper pound emptied.
After that excitement today's cruise home was uneventful though some of the gardens looked lovely like this one, oh to have one's own moorings at the bottom of one's garden
|New in at Norton Junction, shut, really must sort our timing out.|
|Approaching Norton Junction from the Buckby locks|
|Ascending Watford Locks|
|Our young lockie, helped us all the way up the staircase|
Our next trip will need some logistical planning as Chris's disabled mum will be aboard. AmyJo is not exactly disabled friendly so we're working out how we can get Mary aboard as she only has one leg and gets about with a frame or wheel chair. Its not easy but Chris and Mary are determined to give it a go.
We used locks to get our disabled visitor on and off the boat. You can obviously set the level for easiest entry and exit (with a box or platform in the well deck) or rear counter. Other boaters when realising what we were doing were only too happy for a slight delay while we stopped the lock filling or emptying.
Nev NB Percy
What a cracking idea, thank you! We'll certainly consider that.
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