Friday, 9 May 2014

Guillotine Locks .. what's in a name?

There are three things you have to know about the River Nene. The first is that it is stunning. The second is that it can be very windy. The third is that, in places, there are strong streams. Combine 2 and 3 it means it can be tricky at some of the locks.

It would be... Well just plain wrong of me not to say a word or two about the locks on the Nene. Not that I am any expert but they are, well different and on first meeting them, they can look daunting. In fact, they are easy to operate and well maintained. AND .. If you see the EA working at a lock there is a 98% chance they will stop and work it for you!

All locks have familiar looking gates at the top. But these beasts are at the bottom of the vast majority of locks.

From a distance

As you go arrive

Then you let the gate down and wind to fill up

In operation 

Help from the EA and a spot of cleaning

And there you have it ... This time with EA assistance

 Then you get to the locks that aren't electrically operated .... Phew They were all like this once. Top tip when you're locking down is to take it VERY slowly until the lock is empty.

And the more familiar end!

All the locks with vertical gates are left empty after use. So swings and roundabouts. Locks with regular gates are left, doors open as you go, no need to leave empty. 

With wind and stream conditions we find it best to tie up at every lock before going down. I climb down onto QISMA before we leave the lock but I know that's not for everyone and we don 't have a cratch cover so easy enough.  Going up, we go in because it's empty and open and I climb out. Leaving the lock going up we find it best to get QISMA tied up before I go back to empty it.  I know everyone will have their own routine. Today there IS hardly any wind but .....  we remain cautious. 

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