OK – 1 night turned into 4.. so what! 🙂 We decided to stay a little longer, and move on at the weekend – which fits in better with work to be honest. And whilst still here, Dawson was trying to teach Shaemus how to “sort of” climb a tree.. which he was not too impressed with!
It’s going to be a long day.. there are a lot of locks to do, and we need to get some miles under our belts, as there are not a lot of Enterprise branches around that are a sensible walking distance from the canal. We need to do a post run towards the end of the month, so we need to get somewhere we can get a car from sensibly!
The first lock of the day.. the one above the turning point we winded at a few days ago. There’s a pub at this one (closed) and a Grove lock marina just the other side of it.
Now.. I’m not sure if these are holiday chalet’s for humans or the goats.. However; doing a google search shows this as Hill Farm and Orchard.. with four luxury en-suite wigwams, situated in the beautiful mature orchard at Hill Farm. If Glamping is your thing.. I suppose this is cool..
Not soon after.. there was a row building down below. As it turns out.. Dawson was asked to prep a sandwich for Anna. And, whilst this was done, the presentation wasn’t quite up to par..
I mean.. honestly.. who cuts a sandwich in half lengthwise.. LENGTHWISE!.. And that’s where the trouble started as this was done to protest being asked to make it in the first place!
Once out of lock #30 (Slapton Lock), there is a water point. There was a wide beam on there, power washing the bird crap off.. He seemed a little worried when we pulled in, but – finish that off first, were not in a rush 😉 Eventually, they were finished with the water point and we could get our hose hooked up and the tank filled. Which also allowed me to have some lunch, and for the garden on the roof to get some well earned fresh water (you can only use so much canal water on the plants before they start to keel over and die!)
I also got chance to check on stoppages whilst there – and yes, lock 32 (Ivinghoe Bottom Lock) is unusable by wide beams, but narrow boats can still use the lock. It seems that the bottom gate needs a bit of work, and so they can at least keep some of the boats moving, they have secured and strapped the faulty gate up so it cant move – which is why wide beams can no longer use the lock, but with one gate working, we can still get in and out!
There was also another notification thats a bit more worrying. Last night, the bottom gate at lock #71 failed. CRT classed it as “structure failure” – which in essence could be anything. The one thing we do know – according to the email notification.. is that it could be out of commission for quite a while.. Which is a problem, as we needed to go through that one next week to get to the Thames!
We will see on Monday, as the email states they will check the problems with it then, and send out an update. Let’s hope they can bodge it – as turning round and going back means no Thames run this year. Being 10 hours (or more depending on moored boats) from the Thames.. it will take 4 weeks to get back up to the Oxford, then down, then on the Thames there, and another week or so to get to Kingston.. And if we have to do that, it starts to get close to “red board” season again – and were not going through that two years running!
Hopefully, they can strap up the gate the same as they have done for lock #32.. I guess we keep going until we know that there is no chance of getting through..
Now.. I’m sure that this reminds me of a song..
And you wouldn’t be on a “wide beam” capable canal and not see an old lifeboat or two..
Past Dunstable and District Boat Club..
.. and just beyond that, a stretch of banking, with armcoe and no other boats. This will do us for tonight I think. Were all getting hungry, and with no-one about, we can run the engine a bit later to give the batteries a solid charge (or at least try, as they seem to be holding less of it nowadays – time to get a new set of batteries very soon!)
Whilst moored up, having dinner out on the bank.. we kept being over-flown by a microlight!