Sunday, 1 September 2019

Wasting water on the southern Grand Union Canal

We moored last night outside St. John's Church, Boxmoor, so that's where we went this morning. A fair amount of modernisation has taken place, making it a very welcoming environment. The people were welcoming too.

Back at the boat we set off at about 1130. As we approached the first lock of the day another boat asked if he could share locks with us, so nb Gillian Anne joined us for ten locks. This is where he needed to stop to let his dogs have a run … we carried on.

The weather has cooled off - I wore socks and shoes rather than sandals today - and someone has lit their stove.

We passed through an annoying number of locks with signs requesting that the lock be left empty with a bottom paddle up. This is wasteful of water in at least two ways. First, descending boats always have to fill the lock before using it (unless they arrive as someone is coming up) and ascending boats have to waste a lockful of water when they leave. Second, as we encountered today, if a descending boat doesn't notice that a bottom paddle has been left up - as per the instruction - then the upper pound can be drained before the boater wonders why the lock is taking an age to fill. It really makes a mockery of CRT's exhortation to save water.

A lockful of water was used for another reason at Cowroast. Here a family of cygnets, with their mother looking on, were swimming above the top gates as we left the lock. A long-term moorer told us that this is the only way they can get downstream as they can't climb up the bank.

Mummy (Daddy?) swan looks on as I emptied the lock.

I opened a bottom gate and the cygnets swam out; the adult swan flew down and joined them.

Apparently this happens three times a week.

Tomorrow we're aiming for Leighton Buzzard.

1 comment:

Mike Todd said...

I understand that the reason for the leave empty notice us down to flooding of the adjacent cottages through leaky lock walks, something which has been an issue since the year for.