Last night we moored tightly between two hire boats, the one at our stern was running his engine but it stopped minutes after we moored up, but we got another couple of hours listening to it up to 8 pm, then spot on 8 am it started again, within the rules but not enjoyable, it was still running when we left at 9 30 am. We also had plenty of rain last night, another ¼" but this morning the sun was shining.
We passed this cruiser that was on the end of the moorings, I have never seen a outboard engine lift bracket used on the canals before, must be dead handy for clearing the prop.
As we approached Hatton bottom lock the lock was just emptying and a Viking Afloat hire boat waiting to go in, he waved me passed into the lock and I hovered at the mouth and encouraged him to join me entering. Thankfully he caught on straight away and we entered the next 20 locks side by side. We had a pair running up ahead of us and then about 4 locks up a single boat pulled out in front of them and headed up. The boat we were sharing with had one man and 4 ladies onboard, his wife and her 3 sisters, the husband and wife from Australia, two sisters from the UK and one from New Zealand. He had boated in France for several years so knew how a boat worked so things went quite well, We only met a couple of boats coming down so it was turn most of the locks. Unfortunately the sisters were not all in the best of health and found the locks hard work, even though I lent them a long throw windlass.
Over the weekend while we were at the Blue Lias a boat came by that was making more smoke than I have ever seen a boat make before. This morning he came up the locks, joining another boat who had already started. I think he was single handed and the lady from the other boat looked to be doing all the work, so as we weren't making rapid progress I was able to back set until they caught us up.
We said goodbye to our international friends at the top of Hatton as they went back to the Hatton cafe for a late lunch, it was just after 2 pm. We continued on eating on the move.
Another unusual sight was a Narrowboat moored with lock windlasses, I think as well as driving the windlass into the bank they may have driven a mooring pin through the eye, again something I have never seen before.
When we came down the Grand Union Canal last week I posted a photograph of Shrewley Tunnel with its horse tunnel, well this is the other side and as you can see the horse tunnel doesn't go all the way through but surfaces about half way continuing with a path.
We passed this old pair of wooden hotel boats that are up for sale, they have lain here for several years now, but the motor looks as if its had quite a bit of work done to the hull in recent years. It will take someone with a lot of passion and very deep pockets to take them on as a restoration.
One for all the clever people out there who are good at canal history. Just to the south of Tom O the Wood bridge on the off side is a canal side building and on the gable end facing the canal are a pair of rollers, I am guessing that this was an old engine house and a line came through the wall and was then guided by the rollers, but what was the line for?