Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Ice breaker again.

7 locks, and 3 miles. Now moored at Cowroast

A bit of a surprise this morning. We looked out of the window to see the canal was frozen all around us and yet there was no frost on the ground. The towpath was crunchy underfoot and a few puddles iced over. There was a mild breeze which may the  reason for no ground frost.

After watering up we set off to the sound of ice cracking. The further North we got the thicker the ice became , probably the best part of 10mm thick. The ducks were obviously happy that we were breaking the ice as they wasted no time in getting into the clear water to feed.

Gas 2 lock was leaking very badly and some kind person had left both top gates open.  Consequently the pound above was very low in water and a moored boat on a precarious angle.  A lady walking the towpath told Dot that the pound was very low all the way up to Bushes lock.  Hence a half mile walk up to the lock and open all paddles to let water down.  After successfully navigating that in the freezing cold we were working up through Dudswell lock 47 when we were confronted with another loose boat broadside across the canal. Its mooring ropes hanging down in the water with pins attached but it was too far out from the bank to be able to do anything to secure it. The only way around it was to nudge it out of the way. I tried to push it back towards the towpath but the ice put paid to that plan. As we passed the boat it became apparent that the boat was unlicensed and had been since 2005 so we took no further action in securing the vessel. I didn't feel that we should endanger ourselves to help a non payer.

851 locks, 1148.75 miles, 33 Tunnels, 40 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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