We didn’t go to sleep to the sound of the rain last night but boy did we wake up to it, we had a ¼” fall overnight, so this morning I togged up in all my wet gear before setting off. Good move, it stopped it raining all day.
We were away at quarter to ten heading up the two remaining locks of the flight. Some of these locks still have the very ornate tail bridges with a split to pass the tow rope through, supported by two brackets with hooped infill. This lock also had an overflow build into the top of the side wall. The bottom lock has a large overflow, I don’t think this one would handle much water now as it packed full of debris.
We were to see several Kingfishers but only one gave me a good photo opportunity and I didn’t take it. He just sat rock still so I didn’t spot him until we were level with him, to late to get the camera on.
We knew that we couldn’t go beyond the bottom Stoke lock, but the Nicholson’s guide mark a winding hole just above bridge 113 which is nearly up to the lock.
We have passed this winding hole many times but I always considered it impossible to use due to shallow water on the off side. As it was very quiet today and we wouldn't be in anyone's way and they wouldn't be in mine, well we are the only boat to move up here I thought I would give it a try. I had 6 attempts to find a spot deep enough to get my bow close enough to the off side to be able to get the stern round with no luck at all. There was only one thing for it, backwards to the winding hole above bridge 108A about 1¼ miles, but the canal is reasonably straight and wide, with very little chance of meeting anyone and no wind, an ideal day for it really.
We passed beneath the A50 road bridge twice, beside the incinerator. This was approaching it backwards. Once we had turned round we headed back south to moor for the night opposite the Wedgwood factory where we plan to visit in the morning.
10¾ miles 4 locks lots of covering the same ground and some backwards in 4½ hours.