Thursday, 2 July 2009

Wrong, wrong, wrong

Locking up towards the summit today, the writing on this balance beam amused me somewhat.

DSCN1659 Unfortunately it’s not very legible in the picture, but it reads “Little Burton”. I guess what they meant was “Little Bourton”, but anyone who knows the Oxford canal will realise that this is Hardwick lock.

DSCN1662 Of course it could be argued that it should have read Bourton. The corresponding new top gate at Little Bourton lock did read Hardwick. These gates were made at the Stanley Ferry rather than the Bradley workshop.

DSCN1667It’s good to see new gates and these have been hung well and are a pleasure to use, but some of the bottom gates really need some urgent attention, both to address the leakage and to the paddle gear which is so stiff that I ended up digging my long throw windlass out. A lick of paint wouldn’t go amiss either.

Today started heading south through the town centre before winding and a trip to hell on earth the supermarket, as the fridge was looking empty. This delayed things a bit but we were soon off though the town and back into the countryside. Our now normal long lunch break was below Slat Mill lock and we have ended up below the Claydon flight this evening.

Finally a word of advice. When you are in a canoe and intend passing a narrowboat it might be of benefit to try to attract the attention of the narrowboat steerer rather than relying on him happening to glance behind him and therefore be able to make space between himself and the moored boat. It’s actually more usual to pass to the left of the boat you are passing anyway, and it’s generally considered the steerer of the boat being passed who decides when and how a passing manoeuvre is undertaken. Please remember that in the event of contact, it is likely that the small fibreglass vessel will fare worse. The use of the words “thank you” when someone has taken action to assist you is also considered good manners, rather than a stony stare both at the time and when you have turned round and are about to make your return trip.

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