Today's weather was the best so far this year, we reckon. Certainly the best we've enjoyed while on the boat. Definitely shirt-sleeve order; I should really have put shorts on. Mind you, I was getting rather warm working the Buckby flight. With no other traffic in sight I had to turn the bottom lock. When it was almost empty the level in the upper pound suddenly rose - yes, a boat was just coming down the next lock. The pound rose so much that water started to pour over the top gates. The amount coming in was more than the amount leaving; eventually a passer-by lent some extra weight and we managed to shift the gate.
The descending boat remarked on how quiet it was ... but then we encountered several more boats for whom we had to wait while they came down the locks in front.
One particularly slow pair coming down was a couple of CRT work boats off to do some piling work at "the shires". They wanted only one gate paddle opened, and that only half-way, so as not to risk a sticking-out bit on one of the boats (on the left in the photo) getting caught on the gate.
Stern gland update: each time we stopped I checked the drip catcher and found that it had remained virtually empty. Hooray! However, I felt the prop shaft near the gland and found that it was warm, so I slackened off the gland a bit more. But this was the first time the bilge has not been filling with canal since we've owned the boat, so - as long as I'm not damaging the prop shaft - I'm very pleased.
Turn left for Middlewich - So we left our mooring at Bate's Mill and Al walked up to the already empty lock. We went in with anticipation as everyone had warned us of the swirl you g...
13 hours ago