We actually travelled to the boat on Friday so that we could drive to the Stratford on Avon river festival on the Saturday.
Friday evening we went to The Bridge at Napton, this has just reopened under new management, they had only had the kitchen open a week and still don’t have credit card facilities. I must say its well worth a visit with good food of sensible portion size and a good pint of beer. They had Doom Bar on when we went and it was a good pint. WE wish them well for the future.
Saturday evening after returning from Stratford the evening cleared out so we had a BBQ on the towing path.
Sunday saw us drive down to see my son and grand sons for the afternoon, returning in very heavy showers and brilliant rainbows, at times double and often a full ark, thankfully as we returned to the mooring the rain stopped so we didn’t get a soaking.
Monday morning at 10 am we were away. For those of you that reads Sue’s Blog as she travels on “Retired with No Problem” will have seen her use of Waterway Routes on her I Phone in a smart little wooden holder. Well, not to be outdone here is my Waterway Routes on my I Pad in its ex cereal and milk carton sun shade.
There was a steady stream of boats coming up which we mostly met in just the right places. There were several mother and calf Buffalo in the fields beside the canal they are quite well known by boaters in this area.
Lock 10 on the Napton flight is causing a problem and at busy times bit of a hold up, the bottom offside wall has collapsed and as a temporary fix CaRT have fitted a steel goal post to hold the wall up and a covering of the offside bank to stop erosion. Also to stop erosion the lock bottom gate is being operated by a CaRT volunteer and only the offside paddle is in use. Due to the boats have moored in the pound the only passing place is just at the mouth of lock 9 for one boat.OK for us, but just below lock 9 we met a motor and butty, so that could lead to a little head scratching and waiting.
At Napton bottom lock we bumped into the owners of nb. Avalon who we spent a couple of days with on the K&A, they were heading home from the Llangollen Canal.
We continued on to Napton Junction where I had to wait while 3 boats came out, they would be the last boats we would meet today. Stopped for water at the top of the locks and decided to have lunch, needless to say half way through a boat came to use the water point, so we slipped over into the lock ready to go down and continued eating, a few minutes later a boat returning to Calcutt marina came in beside us, so it was off down the locks with them.
Passing Stockton Marina I noticed this car transporter standing in the yard, with an interesting load onboard. Approaching the top of Stockton I could see someone at the locks and the top gate open, there was also a boat making ready to leave the long term mooring so I thought he was sharing with whoever set the lock, but he invited me to pass, it turned out it was his crew who had set the lock and he had waited that far back. There were 3 Norwegians on the boat, a gent steering a young chap and a girl on a 65 ft boat. talking to them it turned out the rest of the group, 6 of them were coming by train and were going to meet them this evening at Leamington, it was now 1445 hr and they had a good 6 hours to go with 20 locks and 7 miles.
We were working quite well until the Blue Lias came along and they decided to stop for a late lunch, so we carried on alone, we were half way down Shop Lock when they pushed off again, so we waited at the next lock, but by then they had been joined by another boat, so again we carried on alone until we moored just passed The Two Boats pub on the concrete edging. No soon had we stopped and first the traffic started with an endless stream coming up which was soon followed by rain and thunder with even more boats passing through. So no traffic between 12 o’clock and 4-30 when it turned into the M25 with similar speeds, some hardly moving and some in a hurry to get somewhere.