Are you a jumper or a walker?
The latest Boaters News from CRT contains an article warning of the perils of stepping across the opened gate at the bottom end of double gated narrow locks. Your feet might slip, the grab rail might be slippery etc. so don't do it they say. Of course they're right, but I'll go on doing it.
I would certainly never advise or encourage anyone to do it. It's a long drop into the water and you could easily bang your head. I mean why would you do it? Or should I say why do I still do it? Well, to save a walk of 150 feet I suppose. One pace or 50 paces.
The gap you have to step (not really jump) across is about 3ft 6in I suppose. Sometimes I stand on the edge and look down and think "not this one" and walk round instead, but more often than not I check that my feet have grip, that my clothing won't snag the paddle gear, that my windlass is safely in the hand away from the gate and make an exaggerated step across, ensuring that I am well onto the opposite footplank and grabbing firmly on the opposite rail. It's not a huge step but I do think and take care each time. Well like I said, I won't encourage anyone to do it but lots of us still do. It's funny how at some locks it doesn't feel or look right and I walk round whilst at others e.g. at Broadmoor lock (The one above Cropredy where they sell fenders and windlasses) the other day the step seemed like nothing at all. I suppose they must all be the same distance. I must admit, if it doesn't feel safe somehow, I don't do it. I'm not that cavalier.
Kath, I ought to add, walks round and I'm fine with that.
Are you a stepper or a jumper? It'd be interesting to take a straw poll. Also has anyone knowledge of someone falling in in the process?
We're back out to Herbie today for a little bit of sanding and painting up at the pointy end. I noticed the other day how scruffy the bow cants and the gas locker lid have got. It's really noticeable how horizontal surfaces suffer paint degradation more than vertical ones. The area I have to deal with is so small that the sanding should't take more than ten minutes and the masking and painting no more than half an hour, but we still need two or three days to get it done because of drying times. So I have to work a few minutes and then take the rest of the day off. That's my kind of hard labour.
We had a lot of rain last night but I'm not complaining. I spoke the other day to one of the CRT chaps walking down Claydon locks and asked him about reservoir levels at the summit. He said they were pretty grim. Now I read that they're putting restrictions on the Leicester line and on Buckby locks. I hate to say it folks but we need a wet month.