Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Marlow Lock

Today, Peter ('Big Baloo') kindly came along to help us crew. It was raining as we shoved off, but that soon cleared up. We were going to play it safe, by tackling Cookham lock again. Then, if we felt bold enough, we'd continue on through Boulters lock, down into Maidenhead. But, he suggested we go up to Marlow. Deep lock. Small layby. Big weir!

Peter Big BalooWe knew that part of the river pretty well, and the approach to the lock went smoothly. Apart from scaring a few junior canoeists, and me running us aground on a sandbank. Thankfully, it just took a little bit of reverse to lift us off. When we got to the lock, there were so many big plastic boats about, that there wasn't anywhere for us to tie up. So we had to 'lay off' (aka: 'fanny about') downstream waiting for the lock to empty. Peter pulled off a nifty bit of steering in reverse. Which surprised us, as we'd only been able to get dogma to go straight backwards.

Trying not to fall offThe seven foot rise took a surprisingly long time, but the gates eventually opened uneventfully, and we were on our way again. Enjoyed a delightful little cruise through Marlow in the sunshine, with it's manicured parks, and uber expensive riverside houses. Didn't see anywhere free where we could tie up, so we practised manouevering in the wide stretch before Bisham sailing club (who were out in full force). On the way back, lock entry went like clockwork, and we glided serenely into the chamber like veterans. We saw Narrowboat 'Midama' again, who joked about us having kidnapped Peter.

The Marlow WeirThe massive weir turned out to be not so big and scary as it had appeared from on dry land. No wind, and no flow made it easy to traverse.
Going DownstreamOnce the locking stress and ropework was over, the journey back to the Marina was a real pleasure. Turned us around nicely, and slid us back alongside the jetty without a bump.

Csrdboard CastleEngine Off. Kettle On.
Confidence levels good.


  1. Going straight backwards is an achievement of itself!

  2. We've had quite a bit of practice with that, mate. When we reverse out, we get caught by the current and wind, which invariably points us towards the bushes and duck feeding area. Not somewhere we want to end up, really. So we have to reverse straight into middle of river before we can straighten ourselves up. Not sure how useful this will be in narrow canals with lots of parked up boats either side, but it's good having the room to practice without ramming anything.