A very nice Indian Take-a-way last night from the Raj Mahal in Atherstone, I went in and ordered early evening for a later collection, just the set meal for 2 but it will also go a long way towards tonight's dinner as the portions were so large.
The towpath was very quiet overnight and this morning which was good. I received news last night that lock 9 was broken from a boater moored below it, so this morning were were a bit undecided, but CRT were there early and said it was sorted, so at 1015 hrs we were away. There was a boat going down some way ahead and the lady Volockie was emptying the top lock when we arrived, but no boat coming up, she was letting water down a lock full at a time. When the lock was full again we went down with the next lot of water that almost flooded the towpath, I suspect the bywash on lock 2 is well bunged up. One, of the allotments above lock 3 is brightening things up a bit.By lock 4 we had caught up with the single hander going down, as he sat in lock 4 there was another single hander waiting to come up, so Diana went down to help them while I slowly worked lock 3. The single hander stopped below lock 5 and we were away, but not for long. Just above Lock 8 a CRT chap waved me down and said there was a problem on Lock 9 (the one that was fixed earlier) and they were cleaning the cill and paddles. I didn’t shop where he said but carried on to lock 8 lock moorings as I didn’t want to be grounded when they refilled the 8 to 9 pound, this is what it looked like when we arrived.The CRT chap removed several lumps of brick from lock 9 top gate cill which were stopping it fully closing and was well on the way to finishing when we arrived, walking down Diana spotted these footprints in the mud of the drained pound. I think they were too widely spaced for a Mink but what ever it was must have been down there this morning while the pound was low.
We were soon on our way again heading for lock 10 but we didn’t get there without being observed. Once clear of the flight we stopped for a bit of lunch on the moorings below the bottom of the flight. Even this was problematic, Diana tied the front rope to one of the mooring rings and immediately a swarm of ants appeared from the brickwork around the ring and headed straight up or mooring rope, so we let lose and moved backwards to the next ring which looked clear, but as soon as the rope was on out they came, round the steel ring and straight up the rope towards the boat, I suppose they could smell where the others had gone. In the end we used a mooring hook a little further up.
After lunch we moved up to the water point to top the tank up and then continued North, we were hoping to moor a short way North of Grendon Dry Dock where the canal loops away from the railway and there is a small hill between them, we were in luck as there was only one boat there so just after 3pm we tied up, just before the rain.