The volume of rainwater coming downstream means that we are now experiencing the ‘windlass free lock’. The lower guillotine gates do not require one and the amount of water spilling over the top gates means that there is no point winding up the paddles as the lock fills quite quickly without doing so.
As we approached Thrapston we found the big E.A. weedcutter descending Islip lock. The crew were trying to move it downstream below Islip Mill footbridge, which is the lowest on this part of the navigation, before the levels rose too much. The driver reckoned he might have about 1-2 cm to spare
despite the funky rising cab it is fitted with. Their technique to get it under the bridge was to shift all of the harvested weed on the conveyor forwards towards the cutters which made the front of the craft dip into the water. They then lowered the control cab to it’s lowest position and as they inched under the bridge they used the conveyor to move the weed load towards the rear at the same time as accelerating to dip the stern. They just got through. as we left Islip lock we were warned that the river levels are increasing and to be careful.
The truth about Rushton and Diamonds – straight from the E.A. The water and power to the services at R&D were cut off when the football club went into liquidation. The E.A. have not been able to get anyone to restore them and latterly have been refused access to the facilities. The E.A. is trying hard to be able to re-instate electricity, water and management of the facilities.
Lunch stop was the Woolpack in Islip in the company of nb Harnser’s crew, Brian and Diana, who turned up on cue as the coffee and cake was ready for us and the E.A. man. Two more cups please! A pleasant lunch was had by all. And then Brian exited the awkward mooring and went through the bridge in one go with much aplomb.
After that we set off for Denford moorings for another rendezvous. Kettle magic again – just as the tea had brewed the Rigdens pulled into the moorings behind us on nb Grace.
nb Melaleuca hoved into view a good few minutes after we’d heard his Lister engine. Honestly there is no pleasing some people. He asked if we were the Jannocks who blogged, we agreed we were. “You’re going the wrong way then” he replied. – Readers, please keep up to date! we write this rubbish, the least you could do is read it on time ;^) Joking apart, “Hi there Melaleuca crew, we may see you later as we’re now heading in the same direction”