Saturday, 19 September 2015

Fog, smoke and visitors

I got a surprise when I looked out of the boat this morning. Fog. We could barely see more than one lock at a time when we started down the Hatton flight.

At first we were on our own and working efficiently and quickly. With Jan steering Jubilee into a lock I would raise a paddle to start emptying it, then cycle on to the next lock to raise a paddle to start filling it. Then I'd cycle back to the lock with the boat in, cross the bottom gates to raise the offside paddle, lower it when the gates began to move, cross back to the nearside, open the gate to let Jan out, close it behind her and cycle down to the next lock which by now would be full and open the gate to let her in. And so on.

After a few locks a volunteer lockie appeared and looked after the closing up part of the operation. Then a second volunteer turned up and informed us that a boat two or three locks ahead of us would wait for us. When we caught up we went down the rest of the flight together but, even with now two lockies, our progress was slightly slower. The fog gradually lifted as we descended, and was completely gone by the last lock.

We got to the bottom where we picked up Ally who had driven over to meet us, then continued to the Saltisford Arm where we tied up. Ally had brought marking to do on the boat; she stayed for tea before driving home. During the afternoon we sat on the benches in the sun - this is a lovely location. (Just ignore the traffic noise.)

Back to the fog: the moisture in the air highlights all the cobwebs, including this one on the swan neck.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's a similar web in just that position every day, but it's usually invisible. Isn't it amazing?

As the temperature dropped in the afternoon the smoke from boat chimneys rose and formed a layer in the air.

A little later on Jo and Keith of Hadar came over for drinks and chat.

It was good to meet up again.


Bill.S said...

That's a dramatic first pic, of Hatton in the fog. Congratulations on spotting its potential.

Halfie said...

Thanks Bill.

Jo (Boatwoman) said...

It was so lovely to see you both again. Thank you for a lovely evening and we look forward to seeing you again sometime. The drinks and cake will be on us :-) Jo and Keith.