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Erm? They're Clive and Les aren't they?

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Clive

Clive
(the hairy one)

Les

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Grangemouth 26th August

Yacht Quintet
Sea Lock No 2
Grangemouth
Stirlingshire

26th August, 2005

<-Falkirk 25th August Granton 1st September->

At 9.30 this morning the waterways boys arrived and we began our long descent to the sea. Actually, although there are fifteen locks from Falkirk down to the River Carron, numbers 16 down to 2, they are compressed into little more than a couple of miles and were expected to take a little less than three hours, so it looked like a short day.

It was very breezy again this morning with towering thunder clouds to the west. I dressed in full waterproofs, mainly for protection from the cold but I would also be grateful for its waterproof qualities pretty soon when the rain started.

We were so busy moving in and out of locks frequently barely fifty metres apart that the log entries for today are a little sparse:
9.30 Bound Grangemouth
12.20 Grangemouth Sea Lock No 2
and that's it.

Click for a larger imageIn between times we were rained upon, blown upon and rained upon again. I lent one of our Waterways helpers a waterproof as he had left his in the other van. We discussed how much water was coming down the canal and we complained that winter seemed to have come early. That's all we can recall apart from fourteen locks. This picture seems to cover weather and excess water. It's also pretty representative of the upper gates of fourteen locks as well.

As the log says, we arrived at the sea lock just after noon and then the heavens opened. It was cold, so cold that having stripped off my waterproof coat I kept my waterproof bottoms on just for warmth.

I reheated the soup which we had been eating for the previous two days, one of my famous soups which was added to and reheated and improved each time. We had a couple of beers and then Clive went off to make arrangements for the morrow.

Click for a larger imageIt turns out that the perfect time to get out tomorrow is a little before 8.00 when bridge clearance is still ok but draught is well above the minimum and we have about 45 minutes to get through the bridges. This matches well with the fact that Duncan, the lock keeper, arrives around 7.30. Luckily it is neap tides and therefore timing is much less critical than it would be in the springs. It would be good if they'd just get on and build the extension to the canal to avoid both low bridges and drying riverbed and spill us out into the old dock and straight on into the deep water of the Firth of Forth. I guess it probably won't happen before tomorrow though.

It's too far to walk to the pub. The rain is getting stronger and the temperature seems to be dropping even further. Luckily we have food and drink aboard and it will give me time to catch up on few more days' logs.

We were going to spend the afternoon getting the boat ready to restep the mast, but it's just too wet. We'll do it tomorrow instead.

Les Sutcliffe

<-Falkirk 25th August Granton 1st September->