Māhina Avon Ring – Day 4

Oh the lie in felt so good! Apparently i was snoring before my head even hit the pillow! Thats the thing i need to remember is that mental anxiety as well as physical exercise can be tiring. The combination was like an adrenaline crash, stopping and shortly after piling into a heap on the sofa. Woke up refreshed though and feeling good about the day ahead.

Decided to start the first lock of the day which was just around the corner with me opening them again to ensure the process was embedded in my mind. Feeling confident that i want to learn how to drive into the lock i ask richard to help me set the lock then drive in with me to make sure i learn the steps. The pound of water before the lock has been a bit tough to navigate with various things heard pulling along the bottom of the boat or feeling the odd mound of sediment under the boat. I had totally prepped my mind that at some point on the trip i’d gain a shopping trolley underneath or get stuck on something so i didn’t freak out when it did happen. This is the best piece of advice i could have given myself.

We set the lock then returned back to boat, i move to pull the boat away from the edge and nothing…………bugger we’re stuck. The propellor seemed to be moving but not the boat. Out comes the pole and numerous attempts later back and forth. Finally we get free of the chunk of sediment and i start the line up to go into the lock. The locks itself on this canal are 7 feet wide, my boat is 6ft10″ so it was always going to be a very tight squeeze with precision driving needed. I make it just about! Always hard when the wind is gusting at the best on times to keep a slow straight line so i wasn’t too hard on myself.

With the depth of the canal improving after that shallow lock i then kept going, with the start of a flight of 6 locks. I surprised myself at just feeling what the boat was doing and getting to go in nice and slow and gentle! woohoo, personal celebration time there. There is a gender stereotype where the man drives into the locks and woman works the gates that makes Richard mad so it was important to us both that i get trained up in both skills.

After we reached the top lock of that flight we were super happy that in the very wet afternoon, that was the last lock of the day. A lovely bit of canal followed, through a wooded area, a small village and then we found a spot for the night.

Todays video is found here: https://youtu.be/Az5zjjdDuaw

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