Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Foxton Staircase Locks- Gongoozlers Galore!

NB Bendigedig waiting to go up Foxton Staircase Locks
Going up....I'm doing the paddles

Near the top with one more to go (Eric's lockwheeling)
Today we continued back down the Market Harborough Arm towards Foxton but it was going to be one of those days. I opened Bridge 4 which needs a BW key to unlock- it's a road bridge with barriers to open and shut. Eric went through with the boat, I returned the bridge to it's original position and a waiting car driver opened one barrier while I did the other but mine wouldn't lock in position which meant we couldn't get the key out. Now the bridge wouldn't open so boats were going nowhere fast. A phone call to BW to ask for help but no call back came. Luckily a boater came by who realised the bridge worked on sensors, put a spanner between the sensors to make it think the barrier was in it's correct place.....the thing clicked  and I could now turn my key to release it. We left the bridge in working order and rang BW to tell them we didn't need their help anymore.

Arriving at the bottom of Foxton Locks I set off to find the lock keeper to find we were fourth in the queue going up. It currently works on a six up six down pattern so we didn't have to wait long. The gongoozlers were out in force with loads of questions, often oblivious to the fact they needed to get away from the lock beams as we needed to move them. After five locks Eric took over the lock wheeling while I steered the boat from one lock to the other for the next five locks. There's just one passing place between the two staircases and NB Helen Louise with their  crew from New Zealand came for a chat as they waited to go down the final five locks.

The cafe at the top sold hot pasties so lunch was sorted and we were on our way.  Ben and I walked for a while and then got back on the boat as Husbands Bosworth Tunnel was ahead. Later trying to find some canal bank not shrouded in plant life was difficult as we hoped to stop before Kilworth Wharf planning to get fuel in the morning. No such luck so we passed it by and moored further on .....a length of piling.....hurray!

1 comment:

Tyson said...

The gongoozlers at Foxton are so helpful. We were four locks down when I could not get the boat to go forward, not realising that a cable had broken. Lots of advice like; put it in forward gear, you need to go forwards not backwards, etc!

The locky was brilliant and pulled us all the way down.