Friday, June 28, 2013

A narrow escape

I nearly got into deep trouble today. We arrived at Bratch locks in plenty of time to watch the Andy Murray tennis match. as we had a bit of time to spare I persuaded Kath that we should go down the locks and moor up at the bottom. It was only when we arrived at the moorings below the locks that I looked up into the gardens of the nearby houses and realised that all of their TV aerials were on 20 ft poles, Probably 30 ft above Herbie. I was, I feared, in deep doo doo. Perhaps I should have realised that when you descend through a 30ft depth of locks, you might end up behind a bit of a hill.

As you might expect, the Tv signal was inadequate when I erected our log periodic aerial. Then I remembered an extra length of aluminium pole we carry and managed to extend the aerial enough to save my skin. Phew.

Today we started to get into some of the bits that make this canal a bit special. The first was Pendeford Rockin where we squeezed through a narrow rocky gorge for a few hundred yards, then of course the unique Bratch locks. Unlike staircase locks like Foxton where the paddles are colour coded red and white, "red before white and you'll be alright", here you have red paddles on bottom gates and blue ones on the top gates. The Lockie said they like to be different, and at Bratch they have "blue before red, nothing said."

I love all the brickwork around these locks, curves and alcoves all over the place. A work of art.

The middle of my three Bratch photos today shows the outflow from the middle lock smashing into the gate of the bottom lock only a few feet away. The bottom lock of the three is thirteen feet deep which makes it one of the deepest narrow locks on the system.

We're now watching the weather reports in mid Wales to see what water the Severn will be bringing down when we hope to go out on it on Monday.

Now to the (not very good, must try harder) photos, first Pendeford Rockin and then Bratch.


Captain Ahab said...

Red before Blue and you will do - blue before red and you are dead....

Carrie said...

I flooded my gas locker coming up those locks single handed, couldn't see what was going on while I worked the paddles! Have you passed the stables carved out of the lockside rocks yet? (Oops, maybe should have checked previous post).

Neil Corbett said...

No Carrie you're ok we pass through that on tomorrow