NEW ART DIRECTION

We at dAbe Art always combined our commercial art with the not commercial art.
We create art for a market, for what people want to buy, as we can’t live from fresh air alone.
Together with other artists we feel strongly that commercialism blocks creative freedom and you might get trapped in making the same thing over and over  again.

ik zie, ik zie wat jij niet zie

ik zie, ik zie wat jij niet zie

We would not have the groundbreaking work from Vincent van Gogh, if he would have painted what the market at that time demanded. Artists even loose their artistic freedom when working as community artists or creating funded work. The funding bodies are now a market themselves as they have to justify the money they spend, with other words thick the boxes. Artists also loose on health and safety, the insurance. At times the monetary value of the insurance is higher than that of the art work.

ground breaking

ground breaking

Dabe-Art used their own money for all projects which reflect their artistic expression and the spend time was never wasted though not paid.
We sell to eat, we live to create. We like to explore and love to push boundaries.

wonder

wonder

Right now we are starting once again a meaningless, boundless, aimless project in which we take the freedom to reflect and prospect. A project divided in two, the upper part where we sell and be commercial, the lower part where we act out our freedom to be artists. Or perhaps split into a front part and a back part or a left and a right or an in and out, cleave the subjects. We will be asking other artists to join us on this journey. Before you ask, yes we, again, will be planting trees on our route. Oh and before we forget: the art retreats are a part of our commercial exportation, but when you are interested we will add on the abstract expectation.

do you see the meaning?

do you see the meaning?

Dabe-Art started the experimenting, the researching, the possibilities. We opened up some old ideas, which lay buried under sheets of dust. We look and search once again we might enhance the new into our old perspectivity  (new word) perhaps a new world.
We will use this new space not only to sell put also to explore and to feel your anticipation.

pick this up

pick this up

mAgdA

dAbE Art

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ROOF TOP

ZEN-SCAPES

beach dreaming

beach dreaming

The idea of making small scale landscapes based on big scale landscapes, has been brewing for several years now. The making of big gardens lay behind us but gardening is still a part of land art. Only a narrowboat does not have much space and a roof garden was a big question. How will a garden effect the roof? Think about the rust it could create. A small roof garden was the compromise with a bit of experimenting in mind. The garden came on some wood so water could flow away or on some rubber matt to let in air, plus protecting the paint.

roof top garden last year

roof top garden last year

After two years the paint was fine, no more rust under the roof garden than on the rest of the roof. So the old idea of ‘Zen-Scapes’ came back on the agenda of the Wanderlust as a part of making our products more diverse. Landscape inspire many artists in just as many ways; photography, painting, poetry, land art, sculptures and gardening. The Japanese gardens reflect on landscapes and in certain ways garden-design in Europe also show small scale landscapes. While standing on the cliff tops in Pembrokeshire by Trefin looking down on the small beach surrounded by a rocky landscape something started to develop.

Trefin Beach, Pembrokeshire

Trefin Beach, Pembrokeshire

How can you “terrascape” a landscape like that in a pot, micro landscaping. You see the big rocks yet there are so many small pebbles, pieces of driftwood and even drift glass. While writing a land art poem on the beach the collecting of material started, small material to create small landscapes.

circle made with found material of the beach some only 2 MM big

circle made with found material of the beach some only 2 MM big

The beach by Trefin relaxes the mind and body just like so many other landscapes, just like zen gardens. The simplicity of emptiness shows in every Japanese garden, they use just a few plants with not too many flowers. The opposite of an English cottage garden which is filled with flowers of every season except during the cold winter months. The Japanese always use rocks and gravel or sand, they create a relaxing atmosphere while behind the wall the hassle and bustle of life goes on. The Japanese garden becomes a place to relax, a place to escape.

rocky water

rocky water

How to get that relax atmosphere of water over rocks in a pot, how to get the colours and reflection into a pot?

water reflection

water reflection

In this example only one rock is used washed on the sand and the glass pot represents the water.
The air-plant can’t be placed outside, it is more something for on the coffee table. Air-plants do not need any soil and can be used in a creative way but will not survive outside. We only have very limited space inside the boat and most windows are filled with sculptures some discussions later, better look at outdoor solutions.

Zen scape

Zen scape

Succulent plants survive with very little soil and even grow right on rocks. The problem with these plants is: too much water will kill them and some can only handle a little frost. We are now working on a system to protect the plants which will also protect the roof. The roof will be filled with ‘Zen-Scapes’ each reflecting a landscape somewhere in the world using special little objects found in that landscape. At times they will be simple and others will be big.

simple Zen Scape

simple Zen Scape

The wing will fly away as the ‘Zen-Scapes’ need the light and not the red light of the wing, which function was to give some shelter from the elements yet still look like a boat. The wing also made people aware of us, we are more than a moored narrowboat. We are back to the drawing board how to fit all the different elements on the boat.

stilte   silence

stilte silence

The Mercia Marina will create a bee garden and the boaters will place some bee attracting plants on their boats. There are many succulent plants who flower and many who attract  bees and butterflies. We will arrive at the Marina around 25 March and will start trading not long afterwards. The roof top garden with the many ‘Zen-Scapes’ will be developed right there, right than.

 

roof top garden in 2014

roof top garden in 2014

 

 

 

GLASS PHOTOS

GLASS PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography has everything to do with light, exposure, shutter-speed, aperture, film sensitivity to light (ISO).  Photography gives you the possibility to play with light, even alter the light. When we print the photos we take away that light as the printed material has no concept of light and blocks it out rather than let it in.

water reflection

water reflection

Living on the water shows me everyday reflection of light. Light comes in waves, yet water need to be without waves to reflect. The reflection can be a mountain on the horizon or the drops of water under a floating feather.

floating feather

floating feather

For the floating art project I went deeper into the aspect of floating reflections, the little picture within the big picture. At times the falling light creates shadows and at an other angle it creates a reflection. Two objects were chosen; the feathers of the geese and the fallen leaves from the Oak. On my knees, often even on my belly, I hanged over the canal with my camera almost touching the water surface. It became an act of balancing to capture the silence reflection of a floating feather or leaf.
After some weeks I started to recognise the perfect light for the photo I wanted.

Glass Landscape

Glass Landscape

Than came the printing, working with water, I asked the question what resembles water the answer for many would be Glass. The idea for printing on Glass was born. The see-through feature of Glass created an other dimension onto the printing. How to print a photo where you can see through yet still see the photo, next to this how to print on glass.

towpath feather

towpath feather

Research started while i was still figuring out the final result. I could imagine the see through feature of Glass, so the floating subject of the photo would float through any landscape, the landscape which was behind it. Creating art for the window an other extension of Glass and light.
There are several printers who print on glass as a part of indoor design, specially kitchen. When i was talking to them they didn’t really understand what i meant or what i wanted to achieve. After a visit to Format Festival in Quad Gallery, Derby i found a more artistic orientated printer.

factory feather

factory feather

Now i had to make the photos more transparent so you can see through them. Photoshop is a new territory for me but i had to learn it quick and smart. The good thing of being on a boat with two artists you can dig into other peoples experience. The notes for this quick course will not go away as i will need them again.

rain shadows

rain shadows

Some more detailed telephone calls were made with the printer. In the past i made prints on stones and driftwood as a part of an other art project. The printer told me whatever is white in the photo will become the colour of the material it was printed on, this would become a problem with the feather. Well the technic moved on and this problem was solved. The colour white is in the process the fifth colour, the ink droplets are in two layers thermo-hardening resin. Not a cheap process but a long lasting one after 10 years the colours would fade less than 20% in an outdoors setting. You could hang them outside in the garden, my mind went wandering but had to stay focussed on the float project.
The glass was ordered using toughed Glass with rounded corners for safety reasons as they would be displayed in public places.

exhibition QPAC

Exhibition in Queens Park Art Centre in Aylesbury

 

On a narrowboat the windows are not straight and the boats moves a lot, therefor 4 holes were drilled in the Glass to safely hang it in a narrowboat window. The final result became better than expected the reflection of light played around with the Glass. Rain drops shadows added to the art or even the reflection of the landscape in the photo.

 

 

landscape reflection in a photo

landscape reflection in a photo

Follow the Glass Photos on  Artists on the Canals tour, hope to see you somewhere on our tour and if you give this magic word you will get 20% reduction on the Glass Photos, opaque

see you

mAgdA

Wandering spirals

We are retracing our boat-steps from last year but not just so, we will leave behind a trail of spirals. All them lovely spots from last year, which left a deep impression we will visit again, not alone but with a group of other floating artist on their narrowboats. As a group we have several exhibitions on the land and on our boats, see video to get a first impression.

back to where we came from

back to where we came from

Right from the beginning of Land Art spirals were important, perhaps because we see so many wonderful spirals in nature and not just in plants also in animals like the tail of the Seahorse. So the idea to make spirals on our route as a community Land Art project was born. Each lovely place will get a spiral made in that landscape with what we can find in that landscape. As a part of the spiral a poem will be written, by them who make the spiral.

spiral tail

spiral tail

First the Wanderlust went back home, close to her home, where she was build. Last year we past it and planted an Oak nearby along the Trend and Mersey Canal, now we call it home, boat and crew. The Mercia Marina became our place to be in February. We can popUP our gallery here and sell our art while making it. The marina was very keen to hear about Spiral Journey and offered a place to make the Spiral.

spiral spotting

spiral spotting

The first spiral of a group of spirals along the canals on our tour this year. We made the Spiral with Willow cuttings pushing them in the ground and weave them together. Willow is such a great art material and there was plenty of it around growing and flowing. You can make great living sculptures with Willow as they grow the tree themselves makes a sculpture started by human hands.

growing sculptures

growing sculptures

So Spiral Journey started right near the home of Wanderlust. Boaters made this first spiral leaving something behind for the passing boats to wonder about and wander through. The spiral is big enough for people and their dogs to walk the spiral to the centre, where an other Oak was planted from the Shropshire Union Canal acorns seeded last year.

Spiral weaving

Spiral weaving

Willow Spiral could be made real big into a Land Art Forest, planting trees in the shape of a spiral people walking to the centre, all we need would be a piece of land large enough to accommodate a forest. Spiral journey will be preliminary to the Land Art Forest planted in the shape of a spiral. As from this moment anything sold from the Wanderlust 20% will go into the Land Art Forest and we will start to fundraise money on Crowd Funding Sites.

concentration

concentration

All the Spirals of Spiral Journey will come together in a book with the poems and photos of the Spirals, the selling of this book will go 100% into the Land Art Forest.
You can take part, this Saturday 9 May at Milton Keynes at the StonePit field. As the name says there are plenty of stones here to create the spiral with and to write a poem on.

Stone Pit Field

Stone Pit Field

Two sand spirals will be made at Queens Park Art Centre Aylesbury, with children from 4 till 11 years old. The children will make some sand stories to take home and to leave in the spiral, poetry or figurative. After this a spiral will appear at Cassiobury Park near Watford on 18 July and anybody is welcome to join in followed shortly after by a spiral in the Peace Meadow as part of Linslade Canal Festival.

Willow hoop

Willow hoop

You can follow the Artists on the Canals on Facebook to see where we are but here is a list:

Milton Keynes at the Great Linford park from 2 – 12 May

Aylesbury at the canals basin right in town from 17 – 30 May with an exhibition at Queens Park Art Centre

Berkhamsted the mooring by the Rising Sun Pub from 3 – 6 June

Hemel Hempstead several moorings from 9 – 28 June with an exhibition at the Old Town Hall

Cassiobury Park by the Iron Lock Bridge from 6 – 20 July with an exhibition at the Cha Cafe

Spiral Poems

Spiral Poems

SPIRAL JOURNEY

The first Spiral for Spiral Journey will be made in the next few weeks, just a few miles away from Stenson where the Wanderlust was build in 1992.
On the moment we are moored at Mercia Marina near Willington along the Trend and Mercey Canal. It was here we planted last year one of the Oak trees, grown from an acorn found along the Shropshire Union Canal. The little Oak was planted in a hollow Willow tree which was sawn down to prevent it from falling.

the little Oak

the little Oak

Willows only live for a short time unless you coppice them. Now we will be making a Spiral as a part of Spiral Journey with people from the Marina. This Spiral will be made from Willow on a field next to the canal to virtual join the other Spirals which will be made along the canals. The field is a part of a wild life area and you can walk through it on the 3 circular walks from the Marina.

the field by the canal

the field by the canal

The field was chosen, not only for its position next to the canal, but also for its natural beauty. The location in the field is near the foot-bridge over the canal so people can see the spiral from higher up when crossing the bridge. In a way it moves on from the Bridge project starting by a bridge.

the foot-bridge

the foot-bridge

We will be weaving the Willow as some of the Willows in the field did natural, it will grow together into a living wooden sculpture. Last year i made a living Willow sculpture along the Shropshire Union Canal and after just one season the woven branches grew together.

natural woven

natural woven

Shropshire Union Willow

Shropshire Union Willow

A poem written by the people making the Spiral about the landscape in which the Spiral grows. Everybody experience the landscape different and by writing these different experience in one poem will make people look at that landscape from a different perspective. Visitors can walk through the Spiral while reading the poem coming to the centre. In the centre we will plant Flowering Rush, which we call in Holland the SwanFlower which is appropriate for the Marina as the Swan is used on their information packet.

flowering rush swanflower

flowering rush swan-flower

On our route with the Artist on the Canals more Spirals will be made. Permission has been granted in Milton Keynes on the StonePit Field using the stones we find there and again with a special landscape poem. In Aylesbury 2 Spirals will be made with children at the Queens Park Art Centre, these Spirals will be made with sand. One will have a poem the other, as it will be made by small children between the age of 4 till 7, will have handprints. The people of Cassiobury park are very keen to make an other Spiral there, on the moment we are working out the details of this project. The last Spiral will be made as a part of Linslade Canal Festival and will appear on the Peace Meadow next to the canal close to an other footbridge.

spiralpopUP

popUP gallery at Mercia Marina

Keep an eye on our FaceBook page for more details to be involved with the making of the Spirals any of the Spirals and become part of the Spiral Journey.

Preparations

We are busy making preparations for the floating art project Artists on the Canals. Next to all the phone calls and emails to organise it all my mind bubbles with making work for the exhibitions.
The theme for the exhibition is how the canals inspire our work, we show this in a video/sound installation and other work. So i decided to create work specially for this, not making work fit for it but really think about how the canals inspire me.

geese reflection

geese reflection

My childhood was spend on rivers and along rivers, in Wales i lived next to the wild coast of Pembrokeshire, so water is my element. Yet there is something special about the canals which you don’t find on the beach. Perhaps the reflections you get like a mirror seeing double. Yeh that certainly gives you inspiration but it is more.
Wandering over the canals that feeling of freedom well ja but.
While walking along the canals i wrote a little poem trying to catch that special feeling.

seeing the leaf falling
down
touching the cloud
on unsoiled ground
a little dimple
a circle off ripples
to float like a boat
through the clouds off reflections

touch the clouds

touch the clouds

So on my knees i went to go close to the water to see it from an other perspective, getting that leaf getting the reflections. Yet most of all capture an atmosphere of stillness of two worlds touching each other in a perspective moment but never for real. Yet that leaf came from the sky turning in her last fall to float away on her last journey.

wet

wet

The consequences were wet knees and many faces passing me with big ?? and some asking me what i was doing. Well i was getting close to my subject but never said that always talked about the project. One moment of turning reflections and the camera is wet as it almost touches the water.

tussen wal en schip

tussen wal en schip

What i saw and what i now see, you only see when on your knees. You see here a small part of the many many images i took over the last months between all the phone calls,  emails, searching for exhibition spaces, negotiations, informations and so on.
One photo comes on our promotion poster which will float from place to place.
So this land artist became a float on the water.

poem

poem

Thats not all i want to show, thats not all i want to make. For me this water-life away from the land makes me turn like a leaf on the wind, looking for a new direction.
The books i made sold good but they miss something, they need to be more creative, creative writing not just telling a story, not just the words behind the image, something more.
Now i am learning how to make my own books, hand made books, what will come out of it, who knows.
The leave poem, you see here above, will be developed into a larger piece which will be filmed for the video installation.

working

working

What Berth will make will be a total surprise, we only show so much you just need to come to the exhibitions and see our boats. Its not just us the Wånderlust but also other art boats totally 4 art boats with their popUP gallery will be floating along to show the canals in a different way. Come along talk to us, see our work in the making, hear some poems.
When you are lucky you can participate in the making of a spiral with a spiral poem.

beach

beach

2015 planned TOUR

The last few weeks we have been busy with making our tour for 2015.
This year our tour will be involving a lot more than just ourselves and we leave the experimenting and go for ‘real’ meaning we have a plan. Now that is something new for us as we work mainly makeshift with a few dates and schedules.  As all artists we need bread on our plates, so we need to be commercial and put on a different thinking cap.

ICE

ICE

The largest part of our tour will be together with other art-boats, showing, making and selling our art along the towpaths. This floating art project takes some organising not just ourselves. The name is Artists on the Canals, an exhibition how the canals inspire our artists working and living on narrowboats.

In February we set off from our mooring here at Venetian Marina. We hope to arrive before March at our new mooring at Mersey marina on the Trend and Mersey Canal from this mooring we can Trade from the boat.

1 March till 27 April Mersey Marina trading from boat
cruising

Gab reflections

Gab reflections

Start of the Artists on the Canals project.
Friday 1 May – Monday 4 May Atherstone
cruising
Saturday 9 May – Monday 11 May Milton Keynes
cruising
Sunday 17 May – Sunday 31 May Aylesbury
cruising
Wednesday 3 June and Thursday 4 June Berkhamsted
cruising
Saturday 6 June – Saturday 4 July Hemel Hempstead
cruising
Tuesday 7 July – Monday 20 July Cassiobury Park, Watford
End of Artists on the Canals project.

sun set

sun set

cruising
Saturday 25 July Linslade Canal Festival
cruising
Saturday 1 August – Monday 3 August The Globe Inn by bridge 111 Grand Union Canal
cruising
Friday 7 August – Monday 10 August Blisworth Canal Festival
cruising
Saturday 15 August – Sunday 16 August somewhere
cruising
Friday 28 August – Monday 31 August somewhere
cruising

snail pace

snail pace

Friday 4 September – Sunday 6 September Stourport Floating Market
cruising
making some art thinking some art exploring a bit
cruising
somewhere in the neighbourhood
cruising
Friday 25 September – Sunday 27 September Birmingham Floating Market
cruising
Back at Mersey Marina trading from boat

i can see the future

i can see the future

A long program with some bits of uncertainty, like life anywhere.
We float along thinking about our work for the exhibitions. New work for selling, new books, new sculptures, new photos, totally new video installation with sound installation.
When you see, one of us laying on her belly on the towpath with a camera touching ‘almost’ the water, you know WHY.

The canals the Reflections The water The engine The trees

cloud meets water

                                 cloud meets water

We will post more details somewhere, sometime if you want more info visit website
dabe-art.org

mAgdA

WANDER YEAR

REFLECTIONS ON A YEAR

WATER

WATER

2014 was our first year as a Cruising Art Gallery on board narrowboat Wånderlust.
What a year it has been. First getting it all ready the popUP gallery to fit in the roof box yet easy to popUP. Than getting ourselves ready, training by experimenting, do a wide lock, a staircase lock, a flight of locks and do tunnels, winding, mooring, going backwards. Finally we went on our way down south, The lines from the song Wanderlust from Bjork come into my mind

 “I feel at home whenever the unknown surrounds me,
i receive it’s embrace,
onboard my floating house”

What a great feeling it was to enter the unknown canals seeing the new surrounding floating into spring with the left overs from the winter storms all around us. The slow motion of the boat passing through well life on board became surrounded by locking, map reading, sorting popUP locations and just slowly separating the water to move us through.  Even the engine was snoring the stilte was all around us and deep inside us, a drift to serenity.

STILTE SSSSTTTT

STILTE SSSSTTTT

Even in the middle of London we found stillness flowing under roads, underneath houses, along tree edges, passing apartments standing in the canal. Seeing countless Dutch boats with the old names remaining on their bows. To go through Camden Locks with a massive growth watching or skills, only to find no moorings, plenty of good spots for a popUP gallery without moorings. Our gentle motion became entangled into the web of runners, cyclist, walkers, talkers and plenty of mobile phones. Business decisions made on the towpath also for us we left with an illusion wiped from our slate. While going we learned, gained impressions, received appreciations and discovered what works and what not.

CAMDEN LOCKS

CAMDEN LOCKS

We saw films made and took part in a film, made photos plenty of photos and were the object of photography, found places and lost location. We talked and we listen, we looked to learn the scheme.

The wings were bought and shaped, bunting went up or down depending of the edge, hats on chairs out we found the spots.

AYLESBURY CANAL

AYLESBURY CANAL

Atherstone, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Berkhamstead, Hemel Hempstead, Casiobury Park by Watford and than back to Linslade and Blisworth, what you read here is our route from this year which will be our route for next year. We will not be alone as we never really were, we have joined forces with other artist living on narrowboats selling their art. Together we come and join with art organisations on our route to have on land exhibitions about Artists on the Canals. We will popUP for longer or shorter moments. A video and sound installation will be showed from the boat or land based galleries. Musicians, drawer, painter, jeweller, sculptor, land artist, poet we float along and make art, show art, dance art, talk art.

POPUP CHESTER

POPUP CHESTER

The experimental year came to completion.

We float on to a new art project,
new popUP experience,
where land meets water,
where art meets daughter.

yearfloat

We all looking forwards to see you again next year.

happy NEW year

mAgdA

SLUIZEN

Poetic view of a day with many locks going to Stratford on Avon 8/8/2014

squeak and grease 970 kilos
sinking feeling 44 bridges 45 locks
yarningale dripping drops
finding ways in black lace

sinking feeling

sinking feeling

too short a stay for a good look at
liverwort forest
entering tree tunnel up/down
to the next number 37
thinks castle while flag stows past
a treat of bonsai behind the gate
spider looking for new home
not the hat

narrow bridge

narrow bridge

narrow bridge mind your head
cows shape the oak tree
a blue splash of the Kingfisher
bridge 50 turn the page

oak

oak

empty sweet water mussel
silver line on broken bricks
purple candles with still flames
standing driftwood with falling bark
uprooted duck
feel the draft drifting

loose drift

loose drift

hold on and go go slow
straight and go ok its done
slimy twist on the surface
the bike it holds the bike bike can’t steer

oooh oooh

oooh oooh

jump pull steer
7 more to go
working hard too hard
7 more to go 2 hours
7 7 7
more
bridge 61 7 more to go
head down
6 more to go

lockedin

lockedin

drifting people waiting
6 more to go
how to float 2 boats coming
head down 6 more to go
head down reverse
too small onwards
head down 5 more to go

edstone

edstone

an other one coming
head down 5 more to go
an overtake in opposite direction
head down 5 more to go
oooh shit small pond
wait in exit
how can i do this
head down 5 more to go

head down

head down

now that was close
oooh my lord an other one coming
an other small pond
head down 4 more to go

duck

duck

bigger boat i am still learning
ok i could have prevented it
if i looked
oooh my lord an other one coming
head down 3 more to go

just breath
a bit of drifting
oooh wait
one push one run
head down 2 more to go

lock forest

lock forest

no more energy for drop photos
no time
next is open
it is like a dance
a bit to the left through the knees bend steer
gas back steer bowing down
head down 1 more to go

dropping off

dropping off

just 1 more in number 50
last one last one
no more to go
no more no more no more
moor i don’t care just moor
pffffffffff

this is how i felt, we did that day; 49 lock miles, 33 locks and 16 miles from 07.30 till 18.30

our champion day but never again

LOCKS week 13 and 14

We went to Birmingham Floating Market, to get to Birmingham you need to do a lot of locks. We did 27 locks to get there and 30 locks to get out of Birmingham.
The market was fantastic, we tried out our ‘wings’, against the rain, however i write this blog about the locks.

wings

wings

For a boat to go up the hill it has to do locks, water flows down to the sea not up the hill.
Most of the locks on the canals of Britain are operated manually by the boaters themselves, no lock keepers to help you.

rack of pedal mechanic

rack of pedal mechanic

With a special tool, called the windlass, you wind up the rack to let either water in or out of the lock.
You have single locks, in which just one boat fits and you have double locks, in which 2 boats or a wide boat fits.

cogwheel of the lock paddle

cogwheel of the lock pedal

It is a simple system with cogwheel and rack, when rack is up the paddles are open to let water in the lock or out of the lock all depends if you are going up or down.

both racks up of a double lock

both racks up of a double lock

Than you just wait when you let water out of the lock or into the lock it goes wild. It is wise when you let the water out to have the boat well away from the lock. When you are a single boat in a double lock and the wild water comes in, the boat can become a bouncing ball in the lock. The first wide/double lock we did was a bit scary to say the least. Now we keep the boat well under control with the centre line which is attached in the centre of the boat on the roof. We also have learned which paddle to open first to let the water push the boat against the wall.

wild water

wild water

You set the lock for the level you are entering so low when you go up or high when you go down.
While the water flows the boat just wait until it is high enough and you can push open the gates to cruise out of the lock.

waiting

waiting

At times you have a flight of locks, one lock after an other to do a steep climb up the hill. When we went into Birmingham we done two flights of locks. First the Aston Flight of totally 11 locks from which 8 locks close to each other.
The lock wheeler has a lot of work than setting one lock while the other lock is filling with water, opening gates of the locks letting the boat out than closing the gates after boat is out one lock and in the next lock.

flight of locks going up

flight of locks going up

After the Aston flight you get the Farmers Bridge Flight of locks, 13 locks in a row.

lock going under a building

lock going under a building

The flight goes partly under a new building which is a kind of bizarre experience. The wind here speeds up so the person on the helm needs to keep their wits. Yet under the building, which was build well after the canal was dug, you find yourself under an old bridge, which is under the building.

lock under the bridge, bridge under a building

lock under the bridge, bridge under a building

When boaters know you are coming up in a flight they help. When we went to the market we were following a hole string of boats and an other string of boats followed us. The boater who done the flight helped them coming up, so we did as well. It gives a real community spirit.

Hatton Flight

Hatton Flight

When we left Birmingham we done the famous Hatton Flight of locks a total of 21 locks in one flight, one after an other. You have a small pond between the locks where you can pass boats which are coming up, in our case. The Hatton Flight are wide locks and we were lucky enough to do most of them paired with an other boat. Going down in a wide lock is not so hard as going up however with two boats it is a lot easier and it safes a lot of water.

high up

high up

Locks are high in some cases and it is sure not a place to fall in the water.
The feeling you get when you done the locks and you leave the last lock is one of great achievement. We are getting better and better at doing the locks, we even do them with lots of wind. To go to a market or an event is for us hard work but full of pleasure. We are now on our way to Cassiobury Park near Watford. We still have to do an other 40 locks.

lockeruitvaren

We will be there on Saturday.