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Scholar Gypsy

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Everything posted by Scholar Gypsy

  1. Correct - the lower gates are opened by pulling on a chain and shut using a boathook. Here's a photo of the lock, and of my sons warming up with their boathooks (on their adjacent golf course)
  2. Thanks! The wind wasn't too bad, but the wind over tide at Gravesend was unpleasant. We departed 30 mins after low water, with the benefit of hindsight I think I should have waited a bit longer for the waves to fully die down. Half a mile inland it was like a millpond. I personally think smaller nbs handle these conditions better, yes they pitch a lot, but they are much less likely to ship water eg through side doors, sink drains etc,
  3. They are not quite that loud .... https://alarumproductions.org.uk/
  4. It's a very gentle lock, and the keeper is very helpful. There are steel riser cables if you want to tie onto something.
  5. I agree with you re H&S - our route to the shops in Seneffe was via a rather chaotic demolition site. My cruising companions were delayed at Ronquieres for a couple of hours, as a particularly clanky section of rail was replaced.
  6. A few photos of Hermitage when the level is much higher than it is now. Plan B was to go through the lock backwards, but as you can see it was not necessary. (The bridge slopes a bit in both dimensions, and my boat is higher at the bows than the stern) https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2016/04/18/a-tight-squeeze-at-hermitage/
  7. To work out the headroom at Hermitage lock, subtract the reading on this gauge from 4 1 metres. Currently bags of room.... https://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Detail/1598/1742
  8. Thanks! They didn't do this when we were there, but it was raining most of the time... What I couldn't work out was whether / how the cassion was held tight against the connecting channel when at the top or the bottom- as this structure could not obviously resist forces along the line of the cassion. You could definitely feel the whole structure sway a bit, ditto with the monster modern lift, once the seal was broken.
  9. The historic lift was fascinating, you could see exactly how it worked. Guys with a bucket of ash to get a good seal, opening sluices, moving hooks to lift the gates, the safety catch to stop the gates falling on you, and a large crowbar at one point,
  10. Thanks! The record is about 25, I think. If I had a pound for every time I had typed Diamond rather than Platinum in the last six months of organising this, I would be doing rather well. Three of us were sporting our Diamond Jubilee Pageant flags, though, including BEATTY. I flew mine on the lead boat, even though the participant was me rather than the boat...
  11. I was very lucky to be invited to spend a few days cruising the canals south of Brussels, including the second biggest boat lift in the world. Lots of big commercial traffic. https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2022/06/13/belgian-boating-part-1/ https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2022/06/13/belgian-boating-part-2/
  12. Over the bank holiday we organised three cruises: Friday from Limehouse to Gravesend (seven boats) https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2022/06/12/platinum-jubilee-cruise-day-1/ Saturday from Gravesend back to Limehouse https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2022/06/12/platinum-jubilee-cruise-day-2/ Sunday from Limehouse to Brentford/Teddington, nine via the barrier etc and seven directly. https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2022/06/12/platinum-jubilee-cruise-day-3-limehouse-to-brentford-via-jenningtree/ Apart from a bit of sea sickness in Gravesend, it all went very well. The Royal Fleet Auxilary MOUNTS BAY was also there ....
  13. I think the trip boat from Cambridge (?Georgina) used to do it quite regularly, for maintenance.
  14. As well as Earith, I think the cradle at Hermitage can probably handle this boat (contact via Cathedral marina, Ely).
  15. Sorry I didn't make it clear, the local staff who operate the sluice gates at Grand Sluice work for EA. They also showed me around the pumphouse at Black sluice. The lock is operated by CRT, of course.
  16. I think only one boat ended up hitting a buoy ....
  17. Just to add a couple of points from the convoy that St Pancras Cruising Club organised last weekend 1) One of the boats did run aground on a falling tide, and had a four hour wait. They did deploy their anchor at low water, to control the way they floated off when the tide rose again. This worked very well, though with the benefit of hindsight I should have suggested a trip line. This is a line attached to the bottom of the anchor, with a buoy or float attached, and used to lift the anchor out of the mud. Makes recovery much easier. 2) It's really important to get well lined up for the bridge arches well in advance, so that if your anchor fails in the dead zone then you have some chance of going theough the bridge rather than hitting the bridge. The dead zone is the region before you get to the bridge where, if you try to deploy the anchor, it won't stop you before you get to the bridge. 3) We rarely go above normal canal cruising speed. But clean fuel (not just clean filters) is really important. Here's a photo (on the way back from the anchor store in Gravesend, that @Tim Lewis posted about earlier). Not a bad attempt at a straight line.
  18. You can get pretty close to the Dyke's End by boat - a couple of hundred yards.
  19. I did see a boat moored on the pontoon a week or two ago (on the non-tidal section). I was driving back from a holiday near Skegness. Sorry not very helpful, I hope they are not still waiting to do the lock. There are also local staff who operate the sluice gates at Grand Sluice, not sure if they would also operate the lock or not?
  20. Very nice - reminds me of when our garden backed onto school playing fields and we quite often had a request from a sheepish pilot to use our phone. A few hours later (in pre-mobile days, 1960s) a rather cross wife (which it always was) would turn up with the trailer and pack it all away. Sorry! I didn't leave enough time to explore the Welland, Surfleet and Glen on the way home, sadly. You'd need to ask Chris Howes about that.
  21. I agree - the boats I was referring to were proper sea going cruisers. They do seem to enjoy burning rather a lot of fuel .... I was at Gibraltar point last week, but could see no narrowboats at all ....
  22. Not this year. The Denver/Boston crossing is trickier than Wisbech/Boston, for a number of reasons.
  23. I can offer 1) this guide, 30 years old but it hasn't changed a lot. I managed to get hold of a decent hard copy recently: https://nbsg.files.wordpress.com/2021/11/kl_denver_foote_1992.pdf 2) The Spotted on the Wash facebook group, largely cruisers going round to Wells etc but they have good advice on where the sandbars are especially around Stow Bridge 3) The Denver lock keeper, who will advise on when to leave 4) This website which includes details of the new pontoons. https://www.sailthewash.com/sail/harbours/kings-lynn-pontoons/ 5) some other bits and bobs in section 3 here: https://scholargypsy.org.uk/washing/ PS this map shows how the waterways were in about 1080. There are some sources that say the Old West used to flow the other way ie to the west. I am visiting Crowland tomorrow.
  24. There's a campaign to rename the Ely Ouse the Cam. The Ely Ouse and Bedford Ouse are really two separate rivers/drainage systems, only joining together at Denver (or even Kings Lynn in extreme flood conditions when Denver Sluice is permanently shut).
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