We were thinking about getting on our way to Semington when an ex working boat sped past towards the open lock. I dived out and waved until I caught the boater’s attention and Alan ran round putting on boots and taking down the aerial. The boater kindly waited and we travelled down the remaining two Seend Locks with him. I left them at the bottom and walked back to the car while he and Alan went on towards Semington. There were three swing bridges ahead and Alan said that their way was made very easy because walkers opened two of the bridges for them. (So much for having to use a windlass to open them!) By the time they approached the first Semington Lock I had driven to the dock where we are blacking the boat and had the lock open and ready for them.
The dock was filled and NB Meandering Mo which had just been blacked was tucked along one side with plenty of room for us to join it. After a while Leb, who is to black our boat arrived and using the centre rope manoeuvred Meandering Mo out. Then, with Alan’s help, he placed the sleepers across the dock entrance and set the pumps to work. We held the ropes while he placed spacers to hold the boat in the centre of the dock. We had to make sure that the boat stayed in place so it would land on the supporting wood in the right places. This was all new to us: we hadn’t blacked in a dry dock before. It seemed to take ages for the water to be pumped out and there was some problem with reducing the leaks at the edges. Finally the giant pump was switched off and the small pump remains on all the time. It switches on every time the water rises to a certain level in the sink in the corner of the dock.
We really feel that we have chosen a delightful place to have the boat blacked. The surroundings are pretty. Ian and Liz Williamson who own the dock have chickens and three little pigs. Leb who is painting the boat is great company and giving us all sorts of other help. There is no boat coming in after us as we really are the last boat to black here this year so Ian has said its ok for us to stay on for a couple of extra days to make sure that the paint has set.
Today we did 2.06 Miles, 3 Locks and 3 Swing Bridges
Statistics so far:-
3057.93 Miles, 2051 Locks, 197 Swing Bridges, 118 Lift Bridges, 58 Tunnels