Sunday, 8 March 2015

Cowley Lock

It was a relatively short cruise down to Cowley Lock however it actually took more time than usual because almost the entire length of canal was moored boats.  Still, we’re not in a hurry and ‘tick over’ does give you an opportunity to examine the scenery. 

As we turned the bend it was possible to see down the straight to Cowley Lock.  Then in the distance we could see someone arriving at the lock with a windlass.  Obviously a boater coming up and as a boat had earlier passed us going down we deduced the lock was in the boaters favour.  Not that we were concerned because we wanted to stop at the services above the lock.

On entering the bridge hole above the lock we discovered a boat was already on the services mooring.  It looked like the boater was emptying his cassette into the nearby elsan whilst simultaneously filling the boat water tank.

Then I noticed the boaters female companion inside the rear cabin pumping furiously.  They were obviously decanting the contents of the boat toilet tank and transhipping it to the elsan by cassette.  He carried and emptied whilst she pumped.  Seemed like a fair division of labour.  Both of our noses seriously twitched at the odours in the air.  How come other people’s “stuff” stinks?  Our has a very pleasant smell of Tesco bio laundry liquid ! Smile

We had a very long wait whilst their water tank filled.  A combination of exceptionally low water pressure; an almost empty water tank and a shower plus dish washing during the process.  Not that we were annoyed by the wait.  Plenty of time.

The water point and elsan are located between the Malt Shovel Pub and the former lock keepers cottage which is now a shop.  I wonder what patrons make of the smell?

The boat coming up the lock was a wide beam with a single crew member.

After all that pumping the lady in the blue top still had enough energy to open the gates for the single-handed boater.

We have now covered 82 miles since leaving Braunston.  There have been mile markers most of the way and Cowley Lock is no exception.

Unlike the other markers we’ve seen this one appears to be slowly sinking.  Or more likely the layers of bitumen over the years are gradually drowning it!

Filling Cowley Lock took longer than usual.  The lower gates leak rather badly and despite having both top paddles open it took some time to fill.

It’s rather attractive around here.

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