Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Locking locks

Seven o’clock I was up on Tuesday! Seven o’clock!!! Well I suppose if one is up the only thing you can do is womble. This has the added function of getting the dog walked at the same time. I collected 2 full bin bags of rubbish from between Bridge 125 and 124. After lunch I took a leisurely cruise up to Marston Doles. The water level is down. Its like running with a plastic bag around your prop. I arrived 15 minutes after the gates were locked, damn it!!!

Lock 16 is empty. If you have wondered what the holes are at the top of the ground paddle post that’s where the bolt goes to stop you lifting the paddle.

I don’t really have a problem with these restrictions as long as there is a benefit. However there is a serious leak in the gates. I don’t know much about flow rates but there is an awful lot of water going to waste. I would think there is more water going through the locked gates than is being pumped in back down at Claydon. To my knowledge this lock has for a long time been a problem. I would have thought that if they wish to preserve levels, both Claydon Top and Napton Top should be solid and not behaving like a sieve.

The five locks that make up the Claydon Flight also leak so badly that everyone locking down has to fill the lock irrespective of when the last boat came up, unless you are on the lock mooring as the boat comes out of the chamber.

What these restriction do is not easy to understand at first. Yes it does give the summit pound a longer time to recuperate its level (though not as much as it could if the integrity of the gates was addressed), but the bother factor reduces the number of boats on the flight. Some people just can’t be assed to wait so they turn around and go back. Irrespective of  why it is done, its two steps forward one step back all the time the gates leak.

I do find it odd that the sign on the lock saying LOCK CLOSED is green and not red.

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