Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Hatton and Heat

As the forecast was to be exceptionally warm we set off at 6.30am hoping to at the top of the flight before we expired.

Needless to say no one else was around at that time of the morning so we climbed slowly up the first half of the flight.  

the start of the last 10.
We had only done one of the last 10 when one of the crew of Foreward appeared behind us saying they were on their way.   We agreed to wait at the next lock for them.  They had set out almost an hour after us but with a crew of 4 were able to make faster progress.

We eventually reached the top in just over 3 1/2 hours and stopped to use the sani point and more importantly to order to bacon, sausage & egg baps from the cafe there.  We felt we had earned it!

Shortly afterwards President came up the locks, obviously en route from the Historic boat Rally at Braunston to the River Festival at Stratford.
Good head of steam on
We carried on through the short Shrewley tunnel to find a suitable mooring place, one which Geoff remembered with unerring accuracy.......not sure how he does it.  By then I was ready to fade away with the heat and headed for a cold shower......

We have decided that as we cannot go to Stratford for the weekend we will head up to Knowle (Solihull) which Geoff remembers as a lovely village (that memory of his again!).   But first we will have a rest day here as the forecast is to be even hotter tomorrow.

Total distance:4.71 miles
 Elapsed time:4h58m52s 
Average speed:0.95 mph (4.96 lock/mph

Monday, 29 June 2015

Towards the Hatton Flight

A leisurely start to the day as Geoff wanted to stop near a barbers he had visited before to see if he could get his beard trimmed etc......

We moored at the designated spot (outskirts of Leamington) he remembered and went in search.   He found no less than 4 barbers....1 was shut on Mondays, one didn't open until 10am (it was still 9.15!), one was fully booked and one had a young girl in it who didn't like doing beards!!!  So he came back to Petroc a disappointed and still shaggy man!

Lidl's moorings were free so a top up shop was done and we carried on to moor a couple of locks after the Cape Locks, all ready for the Hatton flight tomorrow.

We passed this so were not tempted to moor!

Total distance:5.17 miles 
Elapsed time:4h4m59s 
Average speed:1.27 mph (2.00 lock/mph) 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Rest Day at Radford Semele

We are moored opposite a field full of poppies.  They go to sleep at night and you can hardly see them!

We awoke to a grey rainy morning but since we had not planned to move it was not a disaster.

Geoff and Barney braved the rain to buy the Sunday papers whilst I prepared our weekly cooked breakfast.

Later we went up to St Nicholas Church for their 10.30 service.  See the link for the story of their arson attack and subsequent rebuilding.   One of the parishioners was belatedly celebrating his 80th birthday so instead of coffee we were offered a glass of bubbly...

An unusual stained glass window in the restored and very modern interior
and an explanation of the symbolism of the window.

Geoff then took Barney for a long walk to find a pub that had been recommended by someone at church.   Whilst there he discovered some news that may alter our plans for the next few weeks.  It is Stratford River festival next weekend, followed by Evesham River Festival the weekend afterwards!   These are the two weekends we had sort of planned to be around those areas.......so it is back to the drawing board at the moment and as yet no new decision has been imparted to me.....
Watch this space........................................................

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Radford Semele on another sunny day

7.30 am and Barney not sure he is ready to move!
Wooden sculptures on the towpath
Another bright and sunny day,,,,3 days on the trot.....it must change soon......
We left Long Itchington just before 8 and stopped for water just along the way.  As we were just finishing narrowboat Neverland came past and asked if we would like company for the locks...great.
We had 10 locks to negotiate to reach Radford Semele so company was always welcome.
They were mostly set against us but the sun was shining so all was well with the world!

Hard to believe we are quite close to the M40
Just for a change, Geoff at the helm as Petroc approaches a lock.
After Radford bottom lock we said goodbye to Alan & Penny on Neverland.  They had been amiable companions for a few hours but were planning to carry on to Saltisford Arm.

Soon afterwards we did our good deed for the day.  A runner was held up on the towpath by a vicious looking swan who was guarding his/her offspring.   He seemed disinclined to brave the swan so we offered him a lift until he was past......I would have been dubious about going past it as well.

We were settled into a good mooring well before lunch 
and the afternoon was spent relaxing!
Later we had a walk to the pub to check on the church times for tomorrow.   We were going to book for Sunday Lunch but decided that we didn't like the prices!!!  So we shall have the brilliant huge pork chops bought from the butchers in Braunston instead.

Total distance:4.82 miles
 Elapsed time:3h45m4s 
Average speed:1.28 mph (3.95 lock/mph) 

Friday, 26 June 2015

Long Itchington

A peaceful run today through gentle countryside with good weather mostly.   The rain did threaten a few times but mostly stayed away....except when Geoff decided to take Barney to the pub for a quick pint before supper.........he scurried home a bit quickly!!!!!!

Once we had turned the corner at Napton Turn, we faced wide locks but sadly no company.   No problem at the Calcutt 3, but by the time we reached the Stockton Locks we had a pair in front of us so it was slow going.   However we were not in a rush so just enjoyed the countryside and the slow pace of life....it is great to be back on the canals.

With impeccable timing we reached our intended destination of Long Itchington by early lunchtime.....we had set off just before 8!   We had thought of weekending here but the forecast for tomorrow is good and not so good on Sunday so we shall gently amble on to Radford Semele.

Plenty of mooring space here, and it seems very quiet boatwise.....

Total distance:8.11 miles 
Elapsed time:4h52m27s 
Average speed:1.66 mph (4.33 lock/mph) 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Away at last

 The familiar sight of Braunston Church comes into view

Well we have escaped at last........such a late start this year but it was all worth it as Emma & Dave had a fantastic wedding.
So this morning we said our goodbyes to everyone at Clifton Cruisers and set off to get beyond Braunston.  Normally we would have moored there but this weekend they have an Historic Boat Rally so there is a lack of mooring space for the hoi poloi.  

Despite the clouds in the picture above it was been a beautiful day for our first day of cruising

I wonder what it is like down below!

Braunston Turn
Could it be Steptoe & Son taken to the water?
So we are heading in the direction of Stratford.......sometime next week, probably early rather than later, we shall be tackling the Hatton Flight at Warwick so if anyone fancies a bit of exercise.......feel free to visit!!

Total distance:9.7 miles Elapsed time:3hr 50min Locks:3 Bridges:28
Average speed:2.54