Friday, 20 January 2012

A challenging day ...

We (Rock n Roll, Seyella, and Moore 2 Life) had decided that it would be cruising day today - the initial plan was to stop below Grindley Brook Locks and then on to Whitchurch for the weekend on Friday.  After checking the weather forecast for the next few days George (hubby) and I decided that it was now or never as the wind and rain on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was definitely not conducive to narrow boating! Seyella and Moore2Life were not so sure ... we shall see!
Setting off into wonderful Wales at 10:30 ...
... the rain had cleared, the sky was beautiful, the wind wasn't as bad as forecast, but is was oh so cold!
First of the day - Marbury Lock, the bridge's supporting walls are wider than the lock walls making entering past the usual fierce by-wash so much easier ...
... the lock cottage here is obviously in private hands, is in excellent condition and has been extensively extended .. a nice place to live .. if it weren't for the fact that boat crews have to pass the front windows!
Repairs in evidence of a previous leak perhaps
I never tire of watching the countryside go by
As if the by-wash from the locks wasn't enough there was also the ubiquitous BW orange netting to contend with at Quoisley Lock
The Willeymoor Pub from the lock of the same name ...
... and Moore 2 Life catching us up!

A sharp bend under the railway bridge brings me under Grindley Brook Bridge and into lock 6 of the Grindley Brook flight ...
... the wash from lock 5 above enters what is a rather small pound (water between two locks) and has created a whirlpool to navigate in the middle ...
... lock 5 is located close to the towpath side round a rather tight bend ... as I say in my title - challenging ... to say the least!...
... and the by-wash is no better coming from lock 4 either!
Looking back there's Ann closing the gate of lock 3 after Moore 2 Life is safely in
I've negotiated the sharp bends, awkwardly placed bridges and those pesky by-washes and have safely reached the first of the Grindley Brook staircase locks (3 locks together where the lock gates open directly into the next one).

George has the camera (obviously!) and here's me all wrapped up against the cold squinting into the brilliant sunshine!
I'm in the bottom lock and George has gone up to the next set of gates to open the sluices to let water down from the top to fill the middle lock (the water from the middle lock has been used to raise me in the lower lock)
I'm now in the middle lock looking up to the top ...
... and looking down to where Ann is emptying the bottom lock of the staircase for ...
Moore 2 Life - so, they have also decided to get to the top today!
Up at the top and what a lovely sight; this was once the lock cottage but has been transformed ... very nice.
Whilst filling our water tank above the locks we were soon joined by Moore 2 Life and tail-end Charlie who I'd not seen since we left Thomason's Bridge this morning!
Today's cruise has been great; 3.5 hours, 5 and a bit miles, 10 locks, hard work, lovely scenery and challenging locks, bridges and by-washes too, but hey, that's what it's all about!


  1. Bywashes ! Try preparing the lock, then when the bottom gates are open, open the top gate paddles, this does NOT waste water (especially on the Welsh) it mearly diverts the water through the lock rather than letting it go down the by-wash, therefore you meet the flow head on rather than from the side !

    1. Thanks Alf - good idea. Are you a boater?

  2. its how the old boatmen and women use to do it

  3. surprized ann and chas not knowing this

  4. Sorry Anonymous - I've no idea what you mean?