Monday, 2 May 2016
Help at Napton
My view from the loo today is of a very relieved Bonny who was happy to be back on grass after a long time on the boat's roof.
I did the Napton Flight of locks this morning. There are 9 of them over a couple of miles. That's not too many but on this occasion it was made harder by the fact that a) it was blowing a hooley, b) the locks were all against me as I was following another boat up and nothing was coming towards me and c) the gates are mighty heavy!
By only the 4th lock I was starting to feel all my muscles, particularly as the wind was blowing the boat away from the lock bollards, which meant lots of heaving on the centre rope. All of a sudden an angel appeared out of the bushes, in the form of Gordon, the volunteer lock keeper. Not only did he set the next lock for me but, since nothing much else was moving, he came up the rest of the flight with me. He rode on my boat in one long pound and told moorers that I had kidnapped him!
That saved me from having to try and balance my boat in the neck of the lock in order to close each gate behind me. He was also a fount of knowledge about working broad locks, something I haven't done yet, but will on this trip. He also volunteers on the Hatton Flight, which makes the Napton Flight look like a nursery slope!
I was so grateful for his cheerful assistance that, when I moored up for a rest, I emailed the Canal and River Trust to tell them how helpful he had been. We boaters can sometimes be a bit quick to complain to CaRT but a bit slow to praise!