Saturday, 7 June 2014

Friday 6th June 2014 Roelagebrug to Sellingen. 8.07kms 2 locks.

Control panel for Terwalslagerbrug swingbridge
8.6°C Sunny and warm with a light breeze, clouds in the afternoon but still sunny. One boat came through the swingbridge while we were getting ready to move. As we were untying another boat came to the other side of the swingbridge and tied up ready to open it. A Waterways van arrived and its driver got out to speak to the elderly couple who had just put the bridge barriers down. I waited until they’d finished chatting and asked him if it was OK for us to come through as he started pushing it open. Yes, OK – and he told me the next one was electric. Yes, I said, we’ve been here before thanks and I helped Mike
Rural road across Terwalslagerbrug
shove the boat out after the cruiser had come through the bridge. It was 10.25 am. Thanked our bridge keeper and sailed on down to the next bridge, no name on it but it's called Terwalslagerbrug, which had barriers that we had to lower and lock then the bridge swung open automatically after a press of the “bridge open” button. Mike took the boat through and tied on the landing the far side and came to give me a hand with unlocking the barriers. It seemed to take ages jacking the bridge back up to
Locking mechanism on liftbridge at Zuidveldsluis
road height, good thing we didn’t keep any road traffic waiting. As we set off again a curlew flew over, not enough time to get a photo. A short distance to the next bridge and lock at Zuidveldsluis (south field lock). A man in a van drove off leaving a youth in a dayglow orange vest to dig up weeds around the bridge railings on the road. The youth said hello then watched us as we worked the liftbridge (Llangollen style with a winding handle). Mike gave me hand to lock the barriers down and he wound the bridge up. He brought the boat into the lock and dropped a rope around one of the tiny bollards (shaped like a pawn chess piece) and
Mike holding the string in Sellingersluis
helped unlock the barriers. This time we had a tractor waiting one side and a car on the other. I wound the bridge down and locked it then got back on the boat to hold the centre rope as we dropped down 1.2m. A longer pound led to the next lock with trees along both banks and a fisherman tucked amongst the reeds who just stared in amazement as we went past him. I swatted the first cleg (type of small grey horsefly, lots of them here in thundery, hot weather) of the year as we approached Sellingersluis. Another Llangollen liftbridge at the top end of the lock. Mike came to help
The staging for lock working and quay below Sellingersluis
work it. We paused as a car was coming, it stopped and the driver and his wife asked where we’d come from, surprised when we said Roelage! Dropped and locked the barriers then pressed the button and this time the bridge deck lifted automatically. Boat into lock, pressed button, bridge down, unlocked barriers and the lock emptied, down another 1.2m. There was a cruiser moored in the middle of the quay where we were intending to stop for the weekend, so we decided to continue to the quay below the next lock then realised that it was a small cruiser and there was more than enough room
An aptly named wasp beetle
behind it on the 40m long old quay, so we stopped. No signs of life on the boat, the crew must have gone into Sellingen village for lunch. Tied up, Mike cut the herbage back and I made lunch. After lunch Mike unloaded the moped off the roof with the aid of our smallest plank as the roof was only half a metre higher than the quay. The young couple were just returning to the cruiser. They set off immediately then stopped on the landing for the lock to put the key in the slot, then untied and went into the lock. Now I would have walked up to the landing and turned the key in the slot to get a green light and Mike would have taken the boat straight into the empty chamber, saving fiddling with tying up and untying on the staging. Strange how something like that just doesn’t occur to some people. Mike went off to get the car at 2.35 pm and was back before I’d finished doing the log forty minutes later. Put the bike back on the roof and found a wasp beetle on the roof under the planks, Mike attempted to get it to walk on to a piece of wood to carry it to the bank but it decided to exercise its wings and flew off.

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