Saturday, March 11, 2006
Will we ever escape?
Put on your best Victor Meldrew voice dear reader, and repeat after me: “I DON’T BELIEVE IT! The b*%&*y lock is still closed!” BW have broken deadlines, extended deadlines and extended extended deadlines on this one. Pity the poor live aboard boaters stuck up here with nowhere to pump out their loos!
Only a week to go before we are supposed to head homeward and we are still marooned here. BW were out today – well two blokes were, and seemed to be planing off bits of the bottom gates and the cill to get a watertight fit. It looks as though the top gates are done, and they have gate paddles with what look like baffles on them to reduce the ferocity of the incoming water for which this lock is notorious. Lets hope they work. The bottom gates don’t yet have any paddle gear installed. Not only that, there must be at least a days work in dismantling all the ladders, fences, scaffolding, drain pumps, etc, not mention shifting the motley collection of barges, floating diggers etc. However I’m still hopeful that they’ll be finished before we need to leave.
We were visited today by number one son Richard who was interested to have a nose round Herbie, and he gave it a general seal of approval although he wouldn’t swop for Bankside, his somewhat larger boat. We tootled up to Ware and back, twice passing Cliff on “Axe”who we met last week, and who today gave us a fender he had found and which we needed. We also talked to Roy Cox on his boat “Orange Pippin” (get the connection?). Roy built his boat entirely on his own, including steelwork, plumbing carpentry, electrics, even down to the decorative canal style roses and castles on the doors. Mind you it took him 15 years in his spare time.