I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Missed The Boat
The Falkirk Wheel
All the rest of narrowboat crew had
previously done a tour in the Scottish Canals and experienced the Falkirk
Wheel. Feeling left out of this adventure and touring the area anyway, we
decided to visit and do the “Tourist thing” and take a boat tour of the wheel.
The Falkirk Wheel in a rotating counter-balanced
wheel that lifts boats between the Union Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal.
It lifts (Or drops) the boats 29 meters from one canal to the other. This now
allows boats to go easily between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and right across
The aqueduct to the wheel
this was accomplished by a series of staircase locks, but
when the canals were neglected in the 60’s, a housing development was plunked
onto the locks, so they could not be restored. Instead this engineering marvel
was built to revitalize the canal system and the depressed economy of the
Falkirk area. The wheel is very efficient, using the less than a few tea
kettles of energy (A quote from the guide) and losing less that a mug of water.
The old locks used millions of gallons water and lots of human energy.
Coming down again
Basically a boat enters a cradle at the top
or bottom which is then sealed. The wheel revolves swinging the cradle and the
boat (Or two if possible, or, we were told 13 canoes) around 29 meters to the
opposite canal. Unfortunately they were unable to completely bridge the
distance between the two canal systems so on either end you still have to work
your way through a few old fashioned locks.
I'd rather be driving the boat
We took a tourist boat tour, which was
excellent and gave all this information about the wheel that I can write about,
but I missed my boat . . . . It would have been much better to do it in a
narrowboat. I tried to tell the tour operator I was trained by Bill Towndrow,
but that seemed to have little sway, and they would not let me drive the boat .
. . I missed the boat . . .