This week we were invited to share photos of something that is marked by its weight, or its air of weightlessness. No apologies then for using our waterways experiences for this particular challenge.
You don’t see too many commercial barges on canals in France, but the Rhone a Sete, being slightly wider and deeper, is one such canal. You can see the wall of water this heavy vessel is pushing ahead of it – bad news for craft moored on pins on the banks. After this one went past at speed, causing our boat to rise and rock with the turbulence, we spent a happy hour or so, dangling an industrial-strength magnet into the murky waters to retrieve our mooring pins which had been snatched out of the ground. Only one was located.
This is a floating bollard, used in deeper locks on the canals and in many river locks. The idea is that you secure your boat to this weighted structure with holding ropes, and as the water level rises or falls, you are stabilised at the side of the lock. Never tie your boat to this – the bollard doesn’t always rise/fall at the same rate as the water level! We’ve had to cut a rope before now, to avoid being left dangling when the water level fell but the bollard lagged behind.
This is our boat being craned out of the water. And the guy on the orange contraption had been asked to move out of the way so the boat could be transported across the busy road to hard-standing by the boatyard. The motor-cyclist took his time, pulling on his gloves, smoothing out each finger, adjusting his helmet. Crane operators are not keen on hanging about with 26+ tons in the sling, so the mechanic started the motorised crane, bringing the boat right over the head of the cyclist… who lit out of there like a bat out of hell!
A routine canal lock. There’s generally some overflow like this even as the lock continues to empty. The cill is at the bottom of the picture – and it’s important to keep reasonably well forward of that step. We’ve occasionally shared crowded locks with other boats who’ve been too far back in the lock, and have ended up dangling with the stern stuck on the cill (for a very brief period before gravity asserts itself!) 😦
Here endeth the lesson on weight and water! To see other interpretations of weight(less), click on Weekly Photo Challenge.