Friday, 26 June 2015

Low water

The water was like a mill pond below Newbury Lock.  A complete difference to the last time we were here and thought we were ‘shooting the rapids’.  Bill put in an appearance and I initially  thought it might have been to say goodbye, but then I realised he wanted to place another cake order!  Smile

We had 43 horses with us but didn’t collect a fine as they went under the bridge rather than across the road.

newbury lock sign

In 2012 there were a large number of boats moored above Newbury Lock but they seemed to have thinned out.  The lawn on the roof of the following boat was in need of some TIC.

lawn on roof

It was looking rather dead and unloved.  As we approached Higgs Lock we could see a hire boat preparing to come down.


The crew informed Jan the next couple of pounds were very low and to stay in the middle.  On checking the water level above the lock she noticed it was down 18 inches.  I decided to walk forward to Benham Lock and check the water level in the pound above.  There seemed little point in going forward if the situation was only going to get worse.  Halfway to the next lock I met a narrow boat coming very slowly down the pound.  On asking about the water level above Benham Lock he informed me it was higher.  Rather than attempting to cross in the pound we waited for him to enter Higg’s Lock before we left.

We transited the pound on tick over carefully staying in the middle.  There is a straight before Benham Lock and we could see a boat had entered the empty lock.  The solo boater started closing the gates on us so I sounded the horn to make him aware we were coming.  He just ignored us, closed the lower gates and turned the lock against us.  Despite the very low pound Jan managed to get off Waiouru at the bridge hole and walk forward to the lock.  The boater ignored her and departed the lock leaving the gates open and the paddles up.  The only thing I could think of was his father should have worn a condom!  Jan reset the lock and we went up where we found the water level in the next pound at a normal level. 

NB Pennymist had arrived below the lock.  We informed the couple on her that we would wait for them at the next lock.  On arriving at Hamstead Lock we found Condom Man exiting the lock.  He went forward and moored on the lock landing.  I closed the top gates and lowered the paddles.  I’d just started emptying the lock when a boat appeared from the opposite direct.  I lowered the paddles and refilled the lock before opening the top gates.  The crew were none to happy about Condom Man being on the lock landing.  By the time they had gone down NB Pennymist had arrived.

We shared the remaining locks to Kintbury with Ian & Jan (nb Pennymist) before finding a mooring at Kintbury just beyond the water point.

nb pennymist

NB Pennymist

Ian and Jan carried on whilst we decided to stop for the day.  In the afternoon Jan cleaned the bathroom whilst I managed to wash and polish the starboard (right) side.  I’m now using the two bucket technique (one soapy and one clean) and a micro-fibre mitten.  This removes all the dirt without scratching the paint.  I’m using Craftmaster polish and you can see the difference it makes in the following photo.

craftmaster polish

Right polished and left clean.

Chris (nb Kestrel) left a comment on yesterday’s post asking how Bill cleans the non-slip area on the roof.  The method Bill explained is to use two small nailbrushes. Start on the roof at the high end and thoroughly scrub the non-slip with soapy water.  Then re-scrub it with clean water. 

After all that polishing in the hot afternoon sun a well deserved cold cleansing ale was consumed!

1 comment :

Unknown said...

Thanks, Tom, for the information - I'd better get some nail brushes rather than pinch my wife's!