We started a bit earlier this morning, that’s the problems with having guests, you are never sure when they will be ready to set off.
As we approached Stoke Hammond we spotted these sheep nibbling the hedge row with their feet on the fence, I don’t have a clue what variety they are. This lock was with us so a good start to the day unlike the Soulbury Three that were against us, but we did meet a boat after leaving the middle lock. Just as we rounded the bend to Leighton Lock nb Captain Hastings rounded the bend, so another with us. Captain Hastings use to be moored in the berth we took over at Kings Bromley and he left enough electricity on the meter to last us all year.
Wyvern had most of their fleet in for turn round, 20 in total and some moored 4 abreast but still room for two Narrowboats to pass by. They have some interesting vehicles parked there including a sign written Morris 1000 van and this car.
We made the compulsory stop at Tesco to stock up with food ready for the second grandson who we are picking up an Marsworth. While we we moored there we also had lunch so may have overstayed our 2 hours buy a little bit, but for most of the time we were the only boat there and there was no one at all on the visitor moorings. We only moved a short way from here to fill with water.
Its good to see that some of the narrow gauge rail track remains on the towpath at the old loading wharfs, I had expected it all to have disappeared under the tar and stone towpath surface. As we passed Grove Lock we spotted some gliders and this one being towed up, once he was released he gave us quite a display of stuns with loops, rolls and what looked like a spin, I have never seen gliders manoeuvring like that before. Later we had a second flying display, this time it was 3 Buzzards and a Red Kite.
It was then that I was caught by a fisherman, I almost took his rod away, when I said to his mate he could boast about catching an 18 tonner he didn’t see the funny side. Had I not have been going so slowly he would never have caught his rod before it went into the canal, as it was I stopped and drew back so he was able to retrieve his tackle.
We moored just below lock Grove Church Lock but were unable to get a TV picture and Diana had heard on the radio the Olympics start tonight, so we moved on. Bridge 116 has the bridge number plate painted light blue, I thought the old BWB colour was a dark blue. Above the lock the water level was well down and often we went aground about ten feet from the bank, we did manage to get the bows near the piling at one point and the stern well out, lo and behold we even managed a TV picture after a lot of fiddling about and then discovered it was just a load of chat from 8-30 and the opening ceremony started about midnight until 4 am. so it was a waste of effort. With this in mined we freed ourselves from the clag and went a bit further, They were cutting the corn at one of the canal side fields and the canal was covered in a thick layer of dust. We finally moored just before Slapton Lock, still not near the side but we had to stop somewhere and the level continued to fall. Two boats came down Slapton lock and once they were passed the CRT work boat that was moored just below the lock moorings was now right across the cut, so armed with my pole I went and did my good deed for the day bringing it back alongside and securing it.
9 miles, 7 Locks in 5¾ hours