For a few days before the trip we were moored opposite the entrance to the arm and below the sign telling us it was just six miles to Aylesbury. On top of those six miles there are also 16 locks but all being well that should be no problem.
Perhaps the swans and ducks were trying to warn Jaq of what lay ahead of us. The entrance to the first lock chamber of the arm can be seen left of the grey fence. A close up appears lower down the page.
Some readers especially those in the U.S. have little concept of the workings of the UK canal system so I will try to explain the way this staircase lock functions.
Locks one and two are formed by two chambers and three gates. It is the lock in the last post that showed the boat having it`s propeller changed. Jaq is in the second chamber and the middle of the three gates can be seen behind her. In the foreground is the section of canal we need to cruise along. The chamber she has left, pictured left was level with the water on our mooring.
So she entered the first chamber (left pic) and closed the gate. Water was then released into the second lower chamber (where Jaq is pictured above). When this water equalled the water in the second chamber the gates, pictured behind Jaq that are the middle of the three, could be opened. The gates opened and Jaq brought the boat into the second chamber as pictured above. Now this chamber is drained of water and the boat lowers to the level of the canal ahead of us.
In the first diagram the boat has entered the gate into the first chamber. This is the gate pictured above on the left and is also the one in the very first picture.
Water is released from the first chamber into the second chamber by raising paddles on the gates.
In the second diagram you can see the water has levelled between chambers and we can now enter chamber two shutting the gate behind us. Jaq is pictured above in the second chamber.
In the third diagram we open the paddles on the gate in front of Jaq. This lets water flow into the canal below us bringing us to it`s level. When the water is level we can open those gates ahead and move out of the lock and cruise along the lower section of canal. We are now about 12 feet lower than our mooring on the main line of the canal. The next 16 locks will take us down a further 84 feet. The 16 will be standard single locks and not of the staircase type.
Hope this has helped some readers to understand what Jaq and I call home. So now we cruise along the Aylesbury arm.
Signs of some TLC being needed
site map and were £500,000 ($750.000)
Keeping the chimney at this angle was just enough to clear the tight arches.
This is the overflow from Wilstone reservoir. CaRT stated 3 days ago the reservoir was overflowing at a rate of 475 litres per second. That's about 100 gallons.....per second! Link to a you tube video
Water now getting worse over the gates.
Arla dairy. It aims to process and package 1.3 billion litres of milk annually. 85 acres and has a business park on site where a company called Alpha, manufactures the plastic milk bottles. From what I`ve read Arla hope some of their other suppliers will take up industrial space on site to cut down truck miles to and from the site and Arla collects the rents. Clever?
collapse of the lock wall caused the canal to be closed and boats craned out and taken by truck back to the main line canal at Milton Keynes. The Arla site started before this lock and stretches as far as you can see to lock 13.
Twenty five minutes later and it was obvious the water coming in far exceeded the water going out so mother nature won this round.
Shutting the paddles allowed the lock to fill just with the flow over the top gate. Spent three days moored just outside of the lock.