Our day started with a tunnel. One that takes 45 minutes to travel from one end to the other. One that is not wide enough for two boats to pass each other. Therefore, two employees of British Waterways, one at each end, control the traffic through the tunnel to avoid traffic jams and head on crashes. :-)
That tunnel is DARK. You find your way through it by turning on every light in the boat so that light is reflected off the sides of the tunnel. That and your bow and stern lights are your guides. Oh, and make sure to look up, too since the top of the tunnel is sometimes NOT over your head if you forget to duck. :-)
You will be proud to hear that we made it through unscathed and in our allotted time slot. Success.
Just after exiting the tunnel was the first of our planned nine locks to go through this day. First there would be a series of five followed shortly by another series of four.
The day was cloudy but that is often the case in the morning and the sun eventually makes its appearance on most days. The temperature was on the cool side but definately not cold. So, I confidently put my vest on over my turtleneck, grabbed my winch handle and set off to open the paddles and the gates on the first lock.
By the end of the second lock I was beginning to lose faith in my weather forecasting abilities. The sun was nowhere in sight, the breeze was picking up and the weather was "soft" as they say. Translation, it was drizzling.
I soldiered on to lock three. What other choice did I have? They take a dim view of boats "parking" themselves in a lock to wait out the weather.
By the time we had done lock four water was dripping off my nose, my hair was soaked and the excess was creating a small river down my back, and my clothes would definitely need to be rung out at the end of the day. It is amazing how wet a "soft" day can get you.
Oh, and that breeze, well it was now a wind and when it hit you it got your attention. Yep, it definitely did.
By lock five I felt like snow might not be an impossibility. My goose bumps had goosebumps and I was learning to respect the idea of the wind chill factor.
As we exited the final lock of the series, Mike mentioned the next four that would be coming up in a mile or so. I didn't say a word. I, Just. Looked. At. Him.
Smart man that he is, he decided that maybe we would leave those four until tomorrow.
Later, my hair toweled dry and wearing my warm jammies, I fixed us both an Irish Coffee for medicinal purposes: to ward off pneumonia. Sipping them we sat and looked out our window and watched the rain fall and the wind blow. Weather is so much nicer when you aren't in it.