Boogie Nights

"Ever wondered what it's like to live the dream, with damp elbows and a feint whiff of your close friend's toilet habits? This is a yachting blog with a difference, as we go on a journey of discovery, a journey of stupid ideas and ridiculous adventures. The daily commute will never look the same again."

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08 October 2007

Entry Be-Ware, vicious locks, may bite

Entry Be-Ware, vicious locks, may bite

entry Oct 8 2007, 08:25 AM
Another weekend of solo cruising was looking certain as my "slightly less grumpy than usual" other half had to fly to France quick for a funeral. We had planned to finish the Hertford arm of the river Lee this weekend but as fate dictates, all the best plans will go to pot.
So, I said I would move the boat up a couple of miles to the village/town of Ware. No probs just a couple of locks to get through and moor up.

then I got a call from a friend saying how long it is since we last met up for a good chin wag and something to eat. Ah ha... "how about", I says to my friend, "you come over and we go for a little cruise, you can give me a hand with the locks. it should be a doddle." thats me thinking that all the locks so far on the river Lee have been very subdued and easy to operate (not accounting for the ridiculously heavy gates)

Great, says he and for the first time ever in everdome... he arrived exactly on time as he said. I should have known the day was not going to be easy... when my friend Dave arrives on time, it's like an omen of strange things to come!

anyway, first lock had a swing bridge over the chamber. Dave's never done a lock before so was a little unsure of which bit to do first. He soon got the hang of opening the bridge, closing the lock gate and paddles. then came the first lesson of the day...

not all locks on the river Lee are big fluffy puppies... some are devils in locks clothing.
The water flow comes through the gate paddle, they are totally exposed above the cill and the jet force is pretty powerful to say the least. Id banked on it being easy and was just going to hold onto a temporary centreline that was actually a short piece of mooring rope and not particularly man enough for proper "hard core" locking.

In the end I had both front and rear lines tied onto to the bollards, shortly followed by a centreline once it would reach.
the flow force pulled the boat forward so strongly that it was beyond my capabilities to hold as I would normally. I could hear the ropes creaking and this was all with just one paddle half open.

I was grateful for the local advice from a nice chap at the lock side who told us the best way to use the lock to avoid problems.
they say the lock will be part of the stoppage program this winter to have it tamed. Im not sure if a man with a whip and a chair will tame this lion though.

Through the lock we trundled up to Ware and attempted to moor up. The ground was so hard I broke my hammer! ok, I broke the handle. Ive had to go out and buy a new one. Now Ive got a longer handled slightly heavier hammer to sort the pins out. I feel a bit tool-time-tim wielding the hammer, all manly and Grrr... except Im a girl and when ever I swing it, everyone in my local vicinity ducks for cover in fear of if I accidentally let go of it mid swing...

Come on, as if. I've only ever done that when I was 10 pin bowling on the swing back biggrin.gif

I think if it hadn't been for the help from Tall Dave I would probably have given up and not bothered with the second lock. Thanks Dave.

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