Arrival: Norsholm 58:30.479N 015:58.752E

Frans & Sarah Toonen
Fri 18 Jul 2014 16:18
Friday 18th July. No wind, No clouds… hot - and when you’re down in the lock damm hot. 15.7nm.

13 locks today. Sarah has to go ashore to secure the lines and then relax. Very hard work for Frans in the boat on his own. Each lock is the same size so when the lock keeper has directed which boats are to lock together the  groups of boats tend to stay together.  The speed limit is 5nm and it’s difficult to overtake so mostly the boats stay in line.  We are the biggest yacht we’ve seen in the canal so far so we are always at the back of the lock - no idea why. In front of us on port side we had ‘Enjoy’ a 39’ Bavaria from Stockholm. Skipper Peter and his wife Carol were holidaying with her sister Louise, brother-in-law Miguel and niece Emily. The lock gates could only just close behind us and sometimes our anchor was actually in Enjoy’s cockpit which the happy, strong and helpful crew coped easily with by opening their stern guard-rails to make room. On starboard at the front was a smaller yacht with a crew of 4 including 2 strapping lads so we were definitely short handed. 

The bow and stern lines are secured in the lock (all locking up to the highest point Lake Viken) and the bow line fed back to the cockpit winch so Frans can position the boat in the lock, control both lines, adjust the fenders, hold the boat off to reduce friction and make sure we don’t ram the other boats. Some of the locks have a lift of several metres so the water flowing in can be ferocious. The busier the canal the quicker the water needs to fill to reduce waiting times. This inflow causes turbulence which moves the boats around so not bumping each other is challenging at times. Many of the 13 locks are close together so the shore based crew walk from one to the other to save climbing on and off. Enjoy and Pelagia arrived in one lock to find they did not have any crew on land to secure the lines as the ladies had all walked right past the lock and were waiting at the next. Carol walked back along the canal to see what was taking the boats so long only to discover they were actually in another locks…oops! 

In Norsholm we were invited to Enjoy for G & T. Having enjoyed those we joined in a delicious BBQ on board followed by an 80’s disco into the early hours and coffee/Scotch. As we had shore power we were at least able to contribute the Nespresso machine. Young Emily led by example by going to bed or we may still have been dancing in the surprisingly spacious Bavaria salon’s dance floor area. Great fun to share a wonderful evening with this charming family.

Back a bit!

Sarah ashore, Frans on his own.

Family Wenleus & Nilsson… Thanks for a great time!