We tried all sorts of things. MWNN climbed the ladder, roped off on the bollards at the top of the lock walls and then pulled the switch and tried holding the ropes. We crashed over to the opposite wall. We tried reversing and roping to the dollies, not enough time to get both ropes attached. We highjacked a 'roving' lock keeper to pull the switch for us AFTER we'd roped off on the dollies. We STILL crashed to the opposite wall. We tried both of us holding ropes on the lock side, leaving the boat unattended with engine off. We STILL crashed over to the other side.
Result of enduring 5 such 'adventures' - I completely lost my nerve and became a gibbering wreck, something that's never happened in over 25 years of boating. And we've vowed NEVER to come UP that flight ever again. We are moored in the boatyard at Montchanin where Jeff, the mechanic, tells us those locks have always been set too fast. Corners were cut when they installed the automatic features - both slackers were installed in the same gate and open simultaneously. This has the effect of sending hundreds of tons of water into the lock like a waterfall, right onto the side of the bows of any boat that is tied off on the dollies, which are set too far forward. Jeff tells us that many boats come into the yard to have their fuel tanks drained and cleaned because the violence done to the boat in the locks stirs up the sediment of diesel, which sometimes contains bacteria, which then blocks the fuel pumps.