Saturday 10 October 2015

Flying fox

Today it was our turn to take Erin Mae past the swing bridge into the basin…

and up the Foxton flight. The gates always seem enormous as you go up a staircase, because they have to cope with a double height of water – the lower lock empty and the upper one full.

It was quite strange to be back in a narrow lock – the first since Preston Brook in June. These benefit from being generally well maintained, and from having CRT staff and volunteers to supervise everything and help you through.

There were gongoozlers a-plenty, some engaging us in conversation about the goings-on, and some simply watching proceedings. Of particular interest was the way they brought a boat down to the half-way point to cross over with the three of us coming up. Saved them 20 minutes or so.

My best beloved acquired three special attendants: Laurence, Lee…

and Jack.

I didn't see them with a windlass in hand, but they opened and shut the gates with a will. Thank you, guys! Help much appreciated.

Emerging from the last of the ten we pulled over to the water-point, not only to fill the tank but to do something that was well overdue – wash Erin Mae! I got up on the roof and scrubbed it clean, and then did the front area. Meanwhile my best beloved cleaned up the right-side windows, but despaired of doing anything with the floor inside, as we kept tramping grass cuttings in.

The jobs took longer than they might have because it was a day for the world and his wife to come strolling around Foxton, and we found ourselves chatting with most of them. Very enjoyable, and a whole range of questions to answer. But the sides of the boat will have to wait until another time.


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