Just a short cruise today. I keep forgetting to have a camera handy, but today I had my old compact camera to hand. At least if it goes overboard it won’t be the disaster that losing my other camera would.
I needed to run the engine for a bit longer to charge the batteries, and I might as well be going along, so I decided to get past Trentham Lock, a relatively forbidding 11 feet 11 inches. In practice, apart from the shower that began just as I had climbed the ladder and ended just as I had closed the top gate, it was not too bad. A passer-by, brolly aloft, told me that he had reached the next bridge in sunshine and passed through into rain.
There was some leakage from the top gate, but, even so, the lock was empty and I could open the bottom gates. Despite the metal beams these were not overly heavy. Some of the locks though Stone and Meaford are really testing.
Unusually, the ladder and bollards are on the on-side (left); the same side as the paddle mechanisms, so less walking about. Even with just the ground paddle open keeping the boat at one end of the lock seemed impossible. Some boaters leave the engine in gear, but the danger is that if tick over is not powerful enough to hold the boat against the top gate, when the boat does move forward the impact will be much harder, with the likelihood of bouncing. No good for either boat or lock! So far, I have managed to avoid breaking anything, though a clock did fall onto the bed once, while navigating locks.
Some locks have convenient bollards at the exits, so that the stern line can be deployed while closing gates. Here I used the ground paddle mechanism.
North of the lock suburban Trentham straddles the cut, which is partly in cutting, with a variety of trees.
Tomorrow, I will go into Stoke, with four more locks, making up the remainder of the 50 foot flight. My aim is to turn onto the Caldon Canal, which means at least 3 more locks. Hopefully, there will be more boat crews to help out.