Tuesday, 5 January 2016

A Short Move

This morning we found our new neighbours had moved before I awoke so it can’t have been my use of the bathroom!  We decided to make the most of the dry weather and move down the staircase locks to the basin where it might be quieter and with a little luck the dot in the sky could be found.  Both of us had confirmed there was nothing we wanted to shop for in the town centre and as there is a retail park near the basin we won’t be stuck for general retail therapy.

The cruise around to the top of the staircase locks was uneventful.  The canal here skirts around and below the old city walls.  I wrote about the King Charles Tower last time we were here.


What was new on this trip was the roof of a house on the opposite side of the canal.  Jan noticed the three small gable windows, or are they ventilation openings?  It’s a bit of a mystery.


This next photo shows the bridge that conveys Northgate Street over the canal.  Its construction was reputely supervised by Thomas Telford and is built from sandstone and consists of a single segmental arch. At street level there are tapering stone piers with railings between.


I’m starting to get suspicious about all these structures attributed to Thomas Telford.  There are so many of them his time spent on site supervising them must have been minimal?

Our problems occurred at the staircase locks.  The top lock was slow to empty and eventually we realised the sole operating top paddle wasn’t fully down.  Then Jan couldn’t open the bottom gates between the top and middle lock.  I had to use the slippery ladder to carefully climb out of the deep lock carrying the centreline.  Between us we managed to open one gate.  I bow hauled Waiouru into the middle chamber rather than attempt to climb back down the ladder.  Actually I was so high up it was more “roof” haul than bow haul.  These locks are doubles and the gates are heavy.


There was a small group of youths beside the middle chamber.  When Jan started to operate the paddle gear they quickly fled.  Jan had a similar problem with the lower gates but fortunately a dad turned up with two small sons who were dead keen to help push the lockgate beam.

There was only one other boat on the visitors moorings in the basin.  It was our neighbours from yesterday, nb Fearndale.  Much better TV reception here with both the ‘dot’ and plenty of DTV channels. We’re now on the mooring immediately before the water point and I think our hose will reach the tap without having to move.

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