Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Low pound on the Erewash but we get through

Today's weather has possibly been the best since we started in March. We had almost wall-to-wall sunshine and even the wind didn't seem to have quite the same bite to it. In fact, while sitting on a bench at Barker's Lock sheltered by trees but in the full blast of the sun, I actually got quite hot.

We did have one small problem, though, and that was at Long Eaton Lock. When we got there at about 0900 we found that the pound above was very low.

This is the bywash weir; the level is about two feet down.

I set off on my bike to see what was happening at the next lock; as I had hoped, paddles were open at both ends to let water down from the pound above. The low pound was a long one at over a mile, so refilling was going to be a long process. I carried on upstream on my bike, talking to towpath walkers who had never seen the canal this low before and reaching some other BCF boats tied up in a higher - and fuller - pound. They told me that CRT was on the case, so I returned to the boat and waited as the level crept up.

This was the predicament of two boats in the drained pound:

Eventually I deemed there to be sufficient water to risk venturing out of the lock, so I clicked into tickover and inched forward.

The CRT man on his bike zoomed up and down as we climbed the locks, assisting with them and making sure there was enough water for us.

Here he is (on right, windlass in left hand) on his way to the next lock.

We had no problems, we didn't touch the bottom and we didn't get anything round the prop, so it was a painless rest of journey to the Bridge Inn at Cotmanhay where we joined nine other BCF boats.

I don't suppose there has been as much concentrated boat traffic here for some time.

Tomorrow the reason for us being here begins in earnest.

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