This morning started bright and warm with no wind. We needed to get a few things in Leamington Spa and luckily both Jewson and Morrison’s are close to the canal. I had just moored up and this was the sight ahead of me. As you can see her bow is right out of the water. For the life of me I can’t remember her name.
( I have just been told its Collingwood)
Shopping done and we pushed on, much to our surprise there was only one hire boat moored outside Tesco and a CRT boat a bit further forward. Most unusual. We had just cleared the bend and bridge passed Tesco and this pair were coming towards me in the next bridge hole. Thankfully a nice wide section to hold back in. The butty was an old BCN boat .
We stopped for lunch between the Saltisford Arm and the bottom of Hatton flight. Our original plan had been to stop here overnight and hit the flight of 21 Hatton Locks in the morning, however while we were having lunch it clouded over a bit so we decided to push on and it was a good decision. As we untied we met a boat and when we arrived at the bottom lock another pair where almost down. Above the lock 2 more waiting boats and above the next lock yet another was coming towards us. The whole flight was with us except for one lock that had filled. It was lock 36 when we met another boat coming down, he had been assisted by a Volocky who then walked back to the CRT offices opening the bottom gate of each lock as he went. We met another boat at lock 42 plus one at Lock 43, after that for some reason the locks where against us to the top.
CRT have fitted boards in the void between the lock beam and the top of the gate on the bottom gates to stop boats hanging up on their front fenders, as you can see some of these have been hit quite hard.
Just as we left the top lock I heard a rumble of thunder and the sky’s started to darken, I decided that once passed the trees we would moor up, The thunder got worse and then the lightning. We had just reached the winding hole when it started to rain, so I reversed back and moored up, I was just putting the stern rope on when there was a flash and almost instantaneously a loud crash, I almost jumped into the air. Within seconds it really started to rain, so proper tying up was left and I scuttled inside. This was the view out of the back door. In half an hour we had 6 mm of rain followed by more sunshine.
The Hatton flight of 21 locks had taken us 2 hours 50 minutes.