We do like mooring here, it is so peaceful and this morning we woke to bird song.
First job was to top up with water, while Diana was doing that I went to the Marina to see where they wanted us to moor in the morning for the BSC examination.
We had an interesting chat with a CaRT chap while waiting for the top lock to fill, he was very knowledgeable on the candle stick paddle gear that is used on this flight. By the time we had finished chatting another boat joined us to go down the locks. The were just moving a boat from Wigrams to Ventnor for the owner. As we worked down a single boat called “Moriarty” came up. We were not sure if this was the same boat that took our old mooring at Napton but with new owners.
Our plan, yes we had one was to carry on down to Stockton, wind in the marina entrance or just above the top lock and then have a drink at The Boat that only reopened on Tuesday. When we reached the marina’s the entrance was full of hire boats so we carried on to the Top Lock only to find that since the last time we winded here the off side has been piled so no hole to put the bow in and the canal was about 9” to narrow for us to get round even with the fender up. The only option was to drop through the lock and wind there, I would guess you could get a 65 footer round there. Laying beside the lock there is an old lock gate, it looks as it was originally fitted to the top narrow lock that predates the wide locks and has to gate paddles in it.
At the other end of the lock there is what looks like part of a wooden bottom of an old wooden bottomed boat.
We moored opposite The Boat and went in for a swift half. There was one other person in the bar when we arrived but it was empty when we left, I expect it will take time for the word to get round that it is open again. One thing that did strike me is the illustrated map above the bar, I thought it had been restored but the barman said he had just given it a good clean and it came up like new.
After lunch we headed back to Calcutt for the night, this time mooring below the locks just outside Ventnor Farm Marina.