Wednesday - Thursday 25/26th July 2012
Once again we decided to try to get away before the day got too hot. By 8.00 o'clock we were on our way with the sun already heating things up.
Cath started wheeling the first lock of the day and we cycled through with no problems. At the next lock it quickly became apparent that not all was right. On nosing in through the bottom gates I saw that the top gates were also cracked open. Sure enough, the next pound was drained.
I walked up to the next lock, which is a staircase of two, and found it all empty as well. The pound above was, thankfully full though.
It took us quite a while to fill the drained section, and by the time we had gotten going again it was scorching hot.
At the next lock there were two boats already paired up in front of us, and while we waited for our turn another already paired couple turned up behind us, leaving us to operate alone.
We continued along and through the next lock where we spotted an ice cream sign. The sun was already very hot, and if we started the next lock we wouldn't be able to stop for another 8 locks, so, with a fine looking pub right across from where we had moored we decided to call it day and retire for ice cream and then a lunch at the aforesaid hostelry.
It all went swimmingly today. Last night we got a pairing with a small hire boat, and at 8.00 this morning we set off to do the 8 remaining Stockton Locks, and probably the 3 Calcutt Locks if all was well.
We virtually flew up Stockton Locks, and by 9.00 o'clock were on the level heading for Calcutt. Once there we stopped to pick up water, and I went to the boatyard to get more information on our Hurricane heater.
I must say that I got the answer I was looking for at Calcutt Boats. The manufacturer has noted that there is a problem with some of the compressors in these heaters, and even when out of guarantee it will be replaced if it fails. This is as good a deal as you could expect, and I'm satisfied and happier now that I know it isn't going to cost and arm and a leg when/if this one packs in.
We're now tied up just above Calcutt Top Lock for the day, Braunston tomorrow, maybe further, but that's up in the air at present.
Among the pics today I've included a shot of one of the huge paddles that are fitted to the “modern” Grand Union locks. These locks really do fill and empty quickly.