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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Off the Aylesbury Arm

Having been at Red House lock for three days we noticed the water level had dropped although the water was still cascading over both top and bottom gates. We were able to open the top gate without the use of the bow rope so the decision was made to give it a go. We had to get through the lock as the only winding (turning) point was 500 yards further on.
Having got the boat in and started to lower the boat we noticed once again it suddenly stopped lowering. After about 20 minutes it finally levelled and the gates opened with a struggle.
I winded the boat and came back in the lock. For half an hour the bottom gates had been open and this allowed a considerable amount of water to pass through unhindered. For a brief few minutes after we left the lock the level had dropped but by the time we shut the gate the water was once again flowing across the towpath.
Similar problems were experienced at every lock until we reached Wilstone. It was here the overflow from Wilstone reservoir entered the canal and we now could see where a lot of this water was coming from.
Having walked into the village for milk and some very tasty crusty brown bread covered in oats and seeds our journey was uneventful although there was still a lot of water coming over gates it caused no problems. Some property`s in the village had suffered flooding from the overflow channel at the rear of  houses.

This is a canal side property that was surrounded by flood water. We moored nearby on the way down and noticed blue lights  of fire engines late at night so can only guess this was when the water engulfed the house.

A couple of days before our Aylesbury arm adventure began I happened across this scene. He had grounded the boat on the cill in the staircase lock at Marsworth jct. to change the propeller.
Information is the guy is setting up the boat as a pump out service along the southern Grand Union possibly between L. Buzzard and Rickmansworth. Good luck to him, he might just end up with a nice little business.

Plan is at the moment to try the Aylesbury trip after my surgery early March. Just want to get everything sorted and get back to normal cruising but it is not going to be for a while yet. Perhaps by March it might stop raining, still at least we are not frozen in......ooops what have I said.


Jacquie said...

Glad your off - you were lucky, more than you can say for that poor house. It's all fun and games isn't it hon. Thinking of you, and now you can focus on the hospital apt again now. Jacq x

Anonymous said...

That looks like an extremely dangerous way to replace the prop! I assume the bottom gates don't leak very much, otherwise he'd better be quick. I frightened myself on one of the staircase pairs at Stourport a few years ago by grounding whilst going up. Seems someone hadn't fully shut the paddles (and I hadn't checked!). Reversed off, refilled from above and all was well, but lesson learned. This photo reminded me of it!

Great that you are off the Arm and in safer waters.


Sue said...

Good grief! I have seen that done before but I don't know if I would be brave enough to have that done if I wanted to change my prop.

Gosh, I hope that bottom gate doesn't leak too much!!

Glad to see you back to Marsworth, the weather is being so unkind to so very many people..

We are so lucky to be able to float on the water eh?


Les Biggs said...

Hi Jacquie
Much better off on the main line. Can always go back when things calm down.
Hope you are well and one day we can all get together and have a natter.

Les Biggs said...


This I am told is the way it was done in the working boat days when a need to get below the water line arose.
The bottom gates are to the front of the boat and the paddles are UP to allow any leakage from the top gates to pass straight through.

Unknown said...

"Frozen In? Blasphemy? Just north of where I live at the northwest corner of Lake Ontario in Canada have friends still using septic holding tanks and are not connected to the municipal system of sewage disposal. The septic tanks are buried some eight feet below ground level. This winter the tanks are frozen, solid as are the lines feeding same.
Nearly all of the Great Lakes are frozen solid, with the ice depth reaching 2-3 feet or more in some places. And where there's little wind, covered with two feet or more of snow.

A wniter and related cold here from the past. Hopefully the warmth of the spring shall be gradual otherwise most of the southern
climes will also be flooded as much
as the southern portions of the UK
surrounding the River Thames.

Mike Muir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mrs. Jaqueline Biggs said...

Bryce we feel dreadfully for you having to survive the terrible onslaught of Winter 2014. Do keep warm and take extra care.
Love Jaq and LesXX

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs