Monday, 10 May 2021

Winding paddles the right way first time

Yesterday we were the last in a procession of boats ascending the Audlem flight: I had to turn nearly every lock. Today we somehow found ourselves following a boat up the last two Audlem locks and the Adderley flight. We did, at least, meet three or four boats.

At one of the locks the top gate foot board had a piece of super-grippy pontoon-type covering rather than the usual strip of sandpaper.
How many locks have I worked in my life so far? Hundreds. How many paddles have I raised? Probably thousands. But it is only today, 10th May 2021, that I have realised that I can turn the paddle spindle the right way first time. How, you ask? By turning towards the pivot point of the pawl. It works on this type of paddle gear, at least, and I venture to suggest that it must work on every type with a pawl and ratchet.

In the case of the paddle gear below, winding anticlockwise raises the paddle.
We came through two or three heavy showers as we made our way back to Market Drayton and the end of this four-week trip. This rain cloud had just passed over.
Back at the mooring I changed the engine oil and filter. I also topped up the Webasto heating header tank and bled the radiators. The header tank took about three pints of antifreeze mixture. Where has all the water gone? (We hardly ever use the Webasto, the prime reason being that it doesn't fire up unless the engine is running to supply the heavy initial load.)

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