Thursday, 8 October 2015


Today was the day.

We cruised the 200 yards from our overnight mooring, and manoeuvred Erin Mae into the dock at Debdale Wharf. Thereafter she was out of our hands!

A good pressure clean, and down on to the supports.

At which point we left, and walked up the towpath to spend the day at Foxton locks.

They're suitably impressive, whether viewed from below or from above,

and this nice sunny October day showed them off well, as a few boats went up or down.

Flights of locks I'd seen before, but never an inclined plane. The plans for this one's renovation seem to be in an uncertain state, so probably we'll never see it back to what it was – two caissons each capable of managing two wide boats at a time, providing counterweight for each other as they slid up and down the hill. It was economics which led to its construction, in an endeavour to solve the bottleneck created by the locks. It was economics which led to its demise and dismantlement, as railways and roads provided their own transport solutions. It is probably economics which will determine the fate of the restoration project.

Walking around we met Bernard, a former police officer, who is going to bring a group of visiting friends to see the site, and wanted to ask some questions about the role of the side-ponds in the operations of the locks. It was very nice to meet you, Bernard, and I hope you all have a great day.

For the rest of our visit we sat and watched the ducks and the customers at the Foxton Locks Inn (great toilets – pity about the food prices).

We saw NB Lutra come through the swing bridge, and chatted with the owners, when they tied up briefly at the lock approach, about the siting of one of their brass fender supports – immediately above the outlet for the kitchen sink. "Lutra" is Latin for "otter", we learnt (how educational this blog is!). In other words we had a day happily gongoozling.

Finally we walked back to find Erin Mae looking rather different and very spruced up. Tonight we shall sleep in our castle in the air – how weird is that!


  1. Hi there, We were sorry to miss you today - we came back into the Marina after doing some painting outside, and when we tied up in the little dock, there was Erin Mae high up in the air having her bum painted!
    We have left Waka Huia moored in the marina until she goes up on hard standing for the winter some time next week - probably about the time we fly home to NZ for 7 months!
    We hope we see you out on the cut some time next year.
    Cheer,s Marilyn and David McD

    1. We'd probably already left. Perhaps you'll be around to give us a wave in the morning, as we survey the world from this elevation!