We set off this morning in drizzle at 8-30 am. by 8 35 am. it was raining proper rain and this continued until we reached Bratch.
Even the bottom chamber of Botterham was empty, of course we had to fill the top before we could lock up. One of the many boats we met today was Elisabeth, I always enjoy meeting her. We arrived at Bratch at about 1130 with no boats waiting to come down or go up. Diana went to find the lock keeper who was in his hut at the top and as he made his way down he gave me the thumbs up to drain the bottom lock, We did the flight in about 20 minutes with Diana working the blue paddles and the lock keeper the red on the lock above. The Damsons beside the flight look to be badly diseased again this year. Look at the hill in the distance the aerial tree stands out above the sky line, at least the rain had stopped and we could see it.
I like Awbridge bridge with its slits in the brick work, between the bottom gates and the bridge is a cast foot bridge, it is one of the few that have not been damaged and still has a gap through the centre to pass a tow rope through. This one is slightly marred by a scaffolding hand rail that was erected following a lad falling off his bike into a lock while riding across one.
Just below Compton Lock the floating cafe Tea Junction was trying to trade, unfortunately there were very few people about. CaRT have not done anything about the top paddle and it took two of us to open a bottom gate due to the amount of water coming down.
The graffiti on Oxley railway bridge is still in good condition and is far preferable to some of the things we see painted on bridges spanning the canal. The water is so clear here that you can see the remains of an old wall running along in the shallows on the off side.
After passing Autherley Junction we had to wait at bridge 67 as a boat was coming towards us through the narrows, There is room for a boat to wait just through the bridge as well as another couple of passing places part way along. Our planned mooring for the night was the 48 hr. moorings at Crossgreen where we did a crew change with the two grandchildren. As we approached we passed some long term moorings on the offside and this sign writers van caught my eye. I hope you can read what it says above the cab. Arriving at the moorings which are very long there was loads of space but boats have turning up ever since we moored at 4 30 pm. Our reason for stopping then was to watch a repeat of a program that was on TV at the beginning of the week called “Tom's Fantastic Floating Home” I don’t think I will bother with episode two.