Thursday, 29 May 2014

The "Bascote Shuffle", and the advantages of sharing locks with competent crews.

(Boat Chalice - Posted by Cath)

One downhill and two uphill boats in Bascote staircase lock
We set off for the Radford Locks, and were joined by a hire boat crew. We worked up through several locks, and then got to the staircase lock at Bascote. One boat was in the top lock waiting to come down, so, being only three boats, we did an exchange in the middle of the staircase - with two boats swapping with the one coming down. We explained to the hire crew that this was 'advanced boating'.

One uphill boat has moved forward, and Chalice has moved over creating space for downhill boat

Chalice is short enough to move diagonally across with no other boat moves.
The locks in this stretch as very similar to the Hatton locks, but are much more spread out, so the whole day is much less intensive.

The easiest way to move up broad lock flights if you are happy to do it.
At the bottom of the Itchington flight we were interested to see Ajax moored, a boat that we were interested in buying earlier this year. The owner was on board and told us that he is taking it cruising for the summer, and that it will be on brokerage later this year.

Shared broad locks are always easier if steerers confident to go in like this.
We worked up the rest of the flight with a good hire boat crew, the only major incident being right at the top, when one of their crew, a wiry, older man. Fell off the bow into the lock. He surfaced still with glasses, cap and his windlass. He then stripped off in the cratch area - waving his underpants at the rest of the crew.

Approaching Braunston on the "Puddle Banks" - Famous spire in distance.

Not too far to walk to the pub tonight!
After that, up through the three locks at Calcutt, then several miles to Braunston. We moored outside the pub in sunshine, but by the time that we went for a meal, the garden was very chilly, and we were the only people eating outside - because we had Odin with us. A large group of rowdy children swung and screeched from the jungle gym - their parents warm inside.

Radford Semele to Braunston
Miles: 13.9, Locks: 23

Total Miles: 235.2, Locks: 189

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