Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Duck does the Backs 2

Navigation on the Backs is permitted (with permission) between October 1st and March 31st. With the end of March fast approaching, we contacted the Cam Conservators for one last trip this season, now that the evenings are light enough! Philip and Charlotte joined us and we agreed to meet them at Jesus Lock at 6:30pm. 

We hoped to have the boat ready to go at the point, so we set off from the Common at 6:00pm, and breasted up with trip boat Rosie while we set the lock. Annoyingly there is no way to get to the lock island to close both the gates except for walking over the lock gates which have no guard rails. There is a swing bridge designed for this purpose, but it is locked up and the code given to me for the spare windlass locked to the paddle gear didn't work for the bridge. So James cautiously walked over the lock gates to close the top gate on the lock island side, and then stayed there so we only needed to cross the gates that once. I went back to the boat and drove the Duck into the lock with only one gate open. I was pleased that I didn't touch the side or the gate once!

Once in the lock, we tried to take the chimney off so we'd get under St John's Kitchen Bridge. The outer of the chinmey came off fine, but the inner was firmly stuck in the flue, and twisting/knocking it was moving the whole flue. So we cut our losses and James sawed off the inner chimney, resolving to buy a new inner to replace it, and re-do the flue with heatproof sealant and stove rope, as it is clearly a bit loose. Good to dicover this just as spring approaches. The thought of not using the stove for a few days while it is repaired is not a horrific one any more!

Chimney thus sorted, we were off. The weather, whic had previously been murky and drizzly turned lovely all of a sudden. We were very lucky!

James took a series of videos as we passed St Johns and went under the bridges:

We turned in the Mill Pond, cracked open the mulled cider (thanks, Charlotte!) and headed back towards Jesus Lock in the dusk. It was really lovely. I came out onto the stern to give James a hot dog, and we stood there together in the fading light.

Once back at our mooring we headed to the Fort for a drink, a nice finish to a wonderful evening!

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1 comment:

  1. That just looks lovely! The Bridge of Sighs is gorgeous and the St. Johns is such a tight squeeze...amazing...