Friday, 4 March 2011

Copt Heath Wharf and back

Wednesday 2nd March - the day had dawned quite dull but brightened up considerably after lunch - we need fuel so we're off up Knowle Locks!
We can just see the locks above the hedge from our mooring - and the zig-zag of the canal past the line of boats to get there.
Just arrived in the first lock and who should come along to help?  Geoff from Seyella
looking back from bottom lock - signs of winter maintenance on the gates and on the lock landing below which was still closed.
Stephen Goldsborough Boats - from such inauspicious surrounds come some cracking boats!
Big works going on at bridge 71 - the length of canal above here has only recently been reopened.
This piece of equipment is very close to the edge of the bridge!
New towpath edging is in place ...
... oh no, not another dredger - we couldn't get past this one either, but they soon sorted it when we pulled over and asked.
It's lovely to cruise on such a wide stretch and away from built-up areas
wide open spaces
lots of signs of tree felling - but no boaters gold to be seen!
winding just before bridge 77...
... and back down the line of permanent moorings at Copt Heath Wharf ...
... where we picked up lots (£££) of diesel!
We've got a brilliant internet signal here so we're pulling over for the night - catch up on the blog!
Back to that dredger - still in the way ...
... but he soon pulls it over and allows us to pass safely.
Looking down at the 2nd lock whilst taking on water - if you look closely you can see George sitting on the beam with Molly on her lead - he really is just as forlorn as he looks - man flu!!
looking down the flight from the 2nd lock ...
... and behind me to the top lock - huge wide pounds (any stretch of water between 2 locks)
These locks are real gentle - no throwing you about.  Geoff was telling me that this stretch from Napton to Camp Hill Locks is often called the motorway of the canals and was built in the 1930's with all the modern engineering ideas of the time. Instead of the water rushing in/out at the sides of the lock, here it comes in/out in 3 places down the middle - and it works well!
Wouldn't like to get caught up on any cill - but these nails are biiiiiiig
Date on the lock house - 1933.
Bottom lock - the gate repairs are obvious - but just plain rough hewn wood unpainted as yet.
We rejoined Mags and Geoff by the Herons Nest Pub at 11:30 just as they were ready to set off on their journey north.  Tesco delivery after lunch from the pub car park!

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