Monday, 28 December 2009

Onto the summit

A boat came down through the lock last night after dark. It seemed to take a long time but I just put that down to it being cold and dark and the crew taking extra care.

On Lyra’s first walk I realised that they had encountered a problem that Keith of nb Hadar had warned me about on Facebook a few days ago. Locks tend to be narrower at the bottom compared with the top. In narrow locks this means that if there is ice between the boat and the walls of the lock it is possible to get the boat hung up, so clearing any ice from alongside is necessary.

I had woken to the sound of the boat rubbing against ice, in what had been a completely clear bit of canal the day before, so was concerned that I had swapped being stuck within easy reach of facilities, I was now stuck somewhere remote. Luckily the new ice was very thin.

I had been joined by another hire boat the evening before which set off before I was ready to move, my roof, which I tend to walk on a lot when locking, still having a thick layer of frost on it. So they rebroke the ice for me. I did walk up to the top lock to have a look at conditions, and was able to work the hire boat through the top lock, so I didn’t feel quite so guilty at letting them do all the hard work.

28122009713 The ice on the summit was slightly less thick than it had been lower down, and the further along we went the thinner it got, with clear patches becoming more frequent as we approached Fenny Compton, where I stopped for a very late lunch and decided to stop for the night.

The Wharf Inn now has a small shop with a range of groceries, so I now have some milk again. Of course I had to have a pint whilst I was in there. They also now have a Laundrette which I’m sure I’ll find useful sometime in the future.

The canal looks fairly clear after the marina, so the “tunnel” which was somewhere that I was concerned about should be passable.

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