Monday, 15 April 2013

There are those that have and those that haven't yet - today it was Sue's turn

I ended the previous blog saying that we were going to do 3 locks so it would be a long day - it was meant to be sarcasm but it turned out to be a premonition. Those 3 locks took us over 4 hours and we ended up moored by Elton Lock in a knackered heap.

The day started normally enough with a quick bit of obedience training whilst the humans nattered and made boats ready for cruising.
I wandered up with Sue to Wansford Station to dispose of the rubbish and indulge in a quick 5 minutes of nostalgia

 You can just make out our moorings from the bridge up by the signal box
and then we set off on what should have been a short cruise to Elton under the double bridges of the A1

and then through the arches of the beautiful original Wansford bridge

and into Wansford double lock. Sue left the Lock first, but an increasingly strong stream and wind combination grabbed NPs nose and whisked her to the left and the weir barriers before she could clear the lock sufficiently to get full steerage round to the right. So we oiked NP back into the lock, backward, with Matilda Rose and then bow hauled  her out on long ropes onto the lock landing. Mission accomplished, we all relaxed a bit before starting on MR, and then ..... well..... Sue fell in. To her credit, like all good boatwomen, she hung onto NPs rope. 
A certain amount of censorship was exercised over photographic rights, but I have permission (of sorts) to show the 'after' pics

Vic and Graham dragged her out and deposited her back on terra firma somewhat unceremoniously! 
and not once did she lose her sense of humour bless her
Yarwell Lock was an even bigger nightmare with a sharp turn to the left (again at the lock exit)  with the wind and flow trying to take you down the weir stream to your right. Both boats having to be bow hauled out individually on long ropes onto the lock landings - bloody knackering. No photos because we were all too 'tied' up with tons of narrowboats on the end of bits of string.

NP coming up through the downstream arch - G cleared Sue through as the funnel effect on the flow through the 'correct' arch was fearsome

The weir stream at Elton Lock shows the strength of the flow. 
Why do they keep putting these locks on bends - but at least the wind was in a more favourable direction for this one
All that was required for this one was a single rope to hold the nose until the stern was clear and then let go - the single rope not being long enough to catch in the prop
what's the record for the maximum number of gongoozlers at a lock? Good job she didn't go in here - that would have been embarrassing!!!!!
Should we have been cruising today? Possibly not, but there is safety in numbers. 


  1. Gosh the guys looked knacked after they dragged me out! I better lose a bit of weight.. either that or try not repeat!

    1. I think it was just total relief that both you and NP were safe!

  2. I bet the language was as censored as the photos.

    1. She was staggeringly laid back about the whole thing - perhaps it was shock!

  3. Well done for working so well together and getting pics of Sue... still smiling !

    Nev NB Percy

    1. We made a good team and, really, it wasn't a horrible day.

  4. Good photos Jill :)

    How about publishing the unseen ones for a donation to a charity of your choice??

    1. That's an extremely good idea: I'll ask Sue how big a donation is required for their release. I suppose we'd better let her choose the charity.