Monday, 29 June 2009

Napton to Stratford on Avon

We started at our normal 10 am, a few boats had already passed including narrow boat Owl who had been at Braunston for the week end, I have no idea what time he left or to what time he cruised to last nigh.

We met very few boat all day a couple at Fosse middle lock, one leaving as we arrived and the other arriving just as we left, but even so all the rest of the locks were against us. We stopped for a short time to do some shopping at Tesco before continuing on to Cape locks where we stopped for water just below the bottom lock. This took best part of half an hour as the tap was very slow. We had just finished when and I set the lock when three boats came up behind us, the first was "Pixie Gift" who shared the next four locks with us. They were on their way home to Evesham after doing the K&A ring, down the Avon and Seven, along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, down the Seven Estuary, into Bristol, up the K&A, South Oxford, Grand Union and were heading back to Evesham via the Stratford canal. It was 4 pm when we got to the Hatton flight of 21 locks and they decided that they would stop for the night after the second lock. As the locks were all with us we decided to push on alone, we didn't see another boat until we met one after another 5 locks, we also met a lady who said there were 3 boats following us and asked if we would wait. I said I knew there were two but she said they had waited for narrow boat "Brasso" at Cape locks.  As there was a boat about to come down the empty lock ahead, we said we would go up on their water and wait there. When I went back to her she told me that they had only just locked the third boat through Cape Locks a good hour and a half behind us so we pushed on without them. Buy the time they had caught us up it would have been 7 pm and still over half the flight to do. We only met another couple of boats before we reached the BW yard so all the locks would have been with them. The second lock from the top was full and it was now that it decided to rain, I hung around in the pound below and Diana dived under the trees while the lock emptied, needless to say it stopped as soon as we were on our way again.  At the top of the flight the long term moorings look very empty with only about half the spaces occupied, were the rest cruising or is this due to the time it takes to re-let moorings under the new tender system. We continued on through Shrewley Tunnel to moor at Rowington, pulling in at about 8 pm. There were several boats here already so we stopped well short of the last one, because as I write this now at 10 30 they still have a generator running on the towing path so they can watch TV.

You will find our latest position at
http://tinyurl.com/Harnser-s-route
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