We were awake and up pretty early, possibly because of the noise of the motorway and the trains. By about 8 o'clock I was making a lemon drizzle tray bake, as I knew we had visitors later. Once that was out of the oven, I walked back up to the broken lock to see what was going on. On the way, I passed a floating crane on the way up, which soon arrived where it was needed.
The problem was that the pin on the bottom of the lock gate was sitting on the chill, and the guys were having trouble lifting it off, and getting it back into its pot. The crane was really only there to support the gate -- it wasn't really big enough to do a full lift. The heavy work was done by a trolley jack and crow bars.
Progress seemed slow, so after a while I headed back. Our visitors, the Herbies, Kath and Neil, who'd dropped in en route from Cropredy to Cambridge, had already arrived -- and we had a great couple of hours catching up with them. We normally see them a lot at Crick, but this year they've moved their boat to Cropredy so won't be at the show.
At lunchtime, news filtered through that the gate was back in place, the CRT staff were fixing it in place, and there would be movement this afternoon. It was about 3pm when the first boats went into the lock; I walked up to the bottom lock with a windlass to help, as had two guys from the camping boat, William, which was much further back in the queue -- including Ryan who's usually on the coal boat, Southern Cross. The procession of boats heading for the lock reminded me of the Heathrow approach flight path.
We were in the fifth locking, sharing with the Mannings on Ivy, the little boat I wrote a feature on a couple of years ago.
After a few locks we started to meet boats coming down. At the lock which had caused the problem, the gate has been wedged into place with struts, and the balance beam has been cut off as it was damaged. It means only one gate is operational on that side.
We got to the top lock in two hours, which isn't bad going in the circumstances. We turned right at Norton Junction onto the Leicester Section; the moorings were quite busy so we carried on to a spot we've used before, near Bridge 3. There's a field of barley opposite, but mostly it's quiet -- you can hear the motorway and trains if you listen for them, but birdsong is the main sound here. Tomorrow we'll go past Crick -- we may have lost most of the time we were expecting to spend up on the summit, but we'll at least get one night there.
3 miles, 7 locks. (23 miles, 14 locks)