No major rescue today and thankfully Shane cleaned up the hedgehog’s calling card(s) from the bow well / sick bay first thing this morning and it was good to know getting off the front of the boat would be easy with no spiney squishable creature in the way of the door.
While Shane was driving I took advantage of the empty space at the front and I tried again to get a shot of a heron that appeared repeatedly in front of us, but it was a particularly nervous creature and I couldn’t get close enough.
Swans featured more prominently today. They are generally bolder and often approach boats.They are quite unfazed by being passed.
We went through 4 swing bridges today. While I was driving and Shane was going to operate one of them, a family of swans passed by and swam under it before he’d reached it. No obstacle for them! I operated two, one large one with electronic control and warning gates for traffic on both sides for the bridge dropping and raising before and after the bridge moved, all quite slow, but easy. No cars came anyway. The other was the opposite: a small footbridge with no gears or winding mechanism, it just had to be swung manually. There was a large protruding bar to help with the leverage and was the obvious place to push, but strangely once open that bar was completely over the water which made it hard to get a good position to pull it back into place.
That one was immediately before a lock. A lock keeper helped me with the first few of the locks and I am glad he did as there were a few idiosyncrasies and they were quite awkward, with the bridges to cross a long way off and lots of anti-vandal devices that were slow to open and close for the paddles. They used the handcuff key, like yesterday but needed a long screw and careful positioning, rather than one quick turn. The cardigan was cast off pretty quickly.
We swapped over after a few and Shane did some. We found a nice spot to stop early so that Shane could meet his ex colleagues at 2.00. We are right next to a lock, so that will be our first task.. The canal was increasingly reedy and our lock tomorrow looks impenetrable.
I made use of the time with a much needed shower, laundry and knitting. Later a family of swans appeared and approached the boat. I went to get food but they had progressed to the lock and I went to see them and was surprised to see them go to the side. there was a very small side weir and they lined up and trooped through in single file.
Now I know they can get through the locks I wonder if I have seen quite as many swans today as I thought, or has the same family been catching us up and overtaking when we stop for locks and bridges.