|What another stunner.|
We carried on, wearing full rain kit. Two locks to do. The first was Nafford Lock. I never want to go there again.
So we arrived, the river makes a sharp right hand turn for the lock (In river terms), then this sight faces you.....
Now had I not have seen this already online, I might have started to cry, this poor boat has been here I think over a year, due to its rural location, its been unable to be retrieved as a crane cannot reach here.
Raining now, David brought WaL around to go a sharp left turn into the lock, "David there's a bridge" I shout, I have to shout, he's a bit deaf and has a hood up,
"Stop panicking woman, let me get the boat in the lock, BLOODY HELL there's a bridge there!!!!"
So we avoided the wooded footbridge over the lock, through frankly as us boaters have to cross the slippery lock gates when operating the lock I don't see why walkers can't. It was a real heavy push to open it, but I got it slowly, the lock was already filled and the top gates open, so in he went, diagonally across the lock....
Oh did I say, it was really raining now, the lock surroundings were slippery, my leather boating gloves were saturated, my hood was up but wet hair was blowing across my glasses and sticking to them, I hung onto the front rope, David clung onto the back rope around a bollard also holding the tiller at right angles to the lock to keep the rudder away from the cill, which was close to the stern. I wound one paddle up, David yelled instructions to me asking how much further forward he could come, he couldn't hear the answers.... Marvellous.
The answer was no! You are right on the gate, David inches down, then the gunnel of WaL appeared to be "Hooked up" on a little ledge of brickwork, I shouted at him and ran up to him, he pushed off the side and wumphed onto the water....
STOP!!!! he yelled full of feeling... I bolted to the top gate and wound up a paddle to let the water in as the rubber was on the cill.
Holy cow. I hate this stuff.
So paddle on the bottom gate let down and I refilled the lock..... now what?
"Don't worry, I know what to do" Now my only suggestion was to go home, David did have an idea, I wasn't sure how he was going to make this lock bigger.....
He reversed out of the lock, around the two sharp corners, did I say it was windy now too, he did take two attempts, I was on the lock side unable to help except that I could indicate how close to the lock landing he was when turning by opening my arms wide and closing them again.
Finally in he came backwards, no bumps, scrapes or tinks and me pretty scared all over, I climbed over the wet gates to shut the top gates again.
So here we are again, me on the bow rope, WaL backwards in the decending lock, David hanging onto the stern rope, still with the tiller at right angles
"I've seen this done" he calls to me, as I quiver on the rope,
"Just the once"
So oh so slowly one paddle went up,
"How far over the cill is it?" He calls to me at the bow
"Two foot" I called back
"That's okay" he said, I considered it far from ok.
Reader as I write this I have a stiff gin next to me as I relive it all.
So with the windlass ready on the paddle to let water quickly in as necessary..... but no need as it worked.
I needed the loo with relief. I opened the gates and he wiggled WaL to allow the gates to open behind him. I shut the very slippery footbridge which wasn't easy, I laid down on the ground to pass David my windlass, then carefully carefully climbed down the wet ladder onto WaL's roof and David caught me and got me onto the back of WaL's deck.
Now all that was left was to reverse out of the lock, in the wind, and wind (Turn) WaL in the shadow of the weir....
What a bloody star David was that day, I have never been so pleased and proud of him. I have to say it was only me quaking, he was always confident.
It was too wet for my phone, so I used his phone for these snaps. My camera is forgotten and hiding in the car in a different county!!
|Very slippery wooden footbridge open and WaL in the lock the first time.|
|Gates shut.... see the cill marker? Did you hear my heart hit the floor?|
|Reversing out of the lock and lock entrance, that sunken NB is just the other side of that bush alongside him.|
|Finally out and turning in the wind.|
|Down the second time, footbridge in place, me about to go around and descend the ladder|
|Darling, still smiling.|
|So me now onboard and David deciding how to best spin WaL around|
|Out, the lock landing was closer than it looks here.|
Yep pretty glad to see the back of Nafford Lock.
The rest of the run down to Tewkesbury was very dull, flat land, the odd duck, some motor boats moored and more rain.
But on arriving, we were the only boat and moored on the nice metal floating pontoons at £3 a night.
We were meeting our son-in-law's father and partner for dinner at the WONDERFUL restaurant HERE,
I had fois gras, lamb shank and creme brulee.
Certainly the best meal out we've had in a while, can't rate it highly enough fellow boaters for an absolute treat after Nafford Lock traumas.