Today was another day on the canal "messing about in boats". There were no issues apart from almost getting stuck on some mud, running into some rocks, and operating two locks. As usual, the day began peacefully with breakfast and ducks.
We spent a lot more of our time travelling through farmland today.
We have not seen as many willow trees as I thought we would.
We are starting to see the colours of Autumn.
We faced the challenge of operating a lock today, two in fact. Considering the size of the boat, the enormous gates, and ominous warnings of what might happen if we did not keep clear of the "cill" (the boat would get caught and as the water went down, one end of the boat would stay up!), it was all a bit scary. Fortunately there were people at both locks so help was on hand and, as with most things, once we had done it, it seemed quite easy.
Locks enable a boat to move between sections of a river or canal that are at a different level. There are gates at both ends and paddles on the gates which allow water in or out. So, if like us, you want to move from a high section to a lower section, you get the boat into the lock, close the gates then open the paddles on the gate in front to let the water out. The boat goes down with the water and you move out of the lock once the water is level with the section in front. For more detailed information, click here.
It was great that we could see two other boats pass through the lock before it was our turn.
Our boat in the lock.
Looking towards the back of the lock where the gates are (theoretically at least) keeping the water OUT of the lock! You can see the tiller of our boat at the front left of the photo.
Almost ready for the gates to open.
After navigating two locks (the only locks we will come across) we moored for the night near Whittington and went to a very nice pub called "The Narrow Boat" for dinner.
The Narrow Boat Pub, right next to the canal!