Again we were ready for a very early morning cruise to tackle the locks before it got too hot. It was all misty at 6.30am when we untied Oakfield. These are some of the impressions on the blue bricks lock side and an award on the lockkeepers cottage near the reservoir.
An all night fisherman was just packing all his equipment away into his tiny car as we passed the reservoir. The paddle gearing at the locks here runs more smoothly with a groove wheel to guide it up and down. Also the winding spigot allows left or right handed operation. We saw two people operating one together with their windlasses attached on either side. A brilliant idea if you have the crew for it!
We were on our own until we met a Vikings Afloat hire boat ascending which helped matters a bit. A girlie lockkeeper came up on her bike clearing the debris from the weirs en-route. She said ‘did I know that I should set the lock below before opening the paddles of the one we were in' as I was wasting water according to her. My reply was that how much extra walking distance that would be for me in addition to the 2 mile stretch? Two of the lock cottages seemed to be vying to see who had the biggest aerials. Apparently they can communicate worldwide. Anyway we arrived somewhat knackered at 11.15am to moor below the bottom lock having descended 217 feet in 30 plus degrees C, in 4 3/4 hrs phew!.