Tuesday 30 June 2009

Napton to Stratford

A late start today, with a rumour that the Hatton Flight is closed today, but I have not received a stoppage notice about it. We set off at 11 am with Lowsonford  our target for tonight. A few boats came passed before we set off and we caught 3 of them up at Kingswood Junction on the Stratford canal where we turned a very hard left to run down to Stratford. We met one or two boats coming up but most of them were not best placed to help us on our way. We are now moored opposite the Fleur-de-Lys where we are planning to eat tonight with friends that we have just met up with.

You will find our latest position at

Monday 29 June 2009

Napton to Stratford on Avon

We started at our normal 10 am, a few boats had already passed including narrow boat Owl who had been at Braunston for the week end, I have no idea what time he left or to what time he cruised to last nigh.

We met very few boat all day a couple at Fosse middle lock, one leaving as we arrived and the other arriving just as we left, but even so all the rest of the locks were against us. We stopped for a short time to do some shopping at Tesco before continuing on to Cape locks where we stopped for water just below the bottom lock. This took best part of half an hour as the tap was very slow. We had just finished when and I set the lock when three boats came up behind us, the first was "Pixie Gift" who shared the next four locks with us. They were on their way home to Evesham after doing the K&A ring, down the Avon and Seven, along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, down the Seven Estuary, into Bristol, up the K&A, South Oxford, Grand Union and were heading back to Evesham via the Stratford canal. It was 4 pm when we got to the Hatton flight of 21 locks and they decided that they would stop for the night after the second lock. As the locks were all with us we decided to push on alone, we didn't see another boat until we met one after another 5 locks, we also met a lady who said there were 3 boats following us and asked if we would wait. I said I knew there were two but she said they had waited for narrow boat "Brasso" at Cape locks.  As there was a boat about to come down the empty lock ahead, we said we would go up on their water and wait there. When I went back to her she told me that they had only just locked the third boat through Cape Locks a good hour and a half behind us so we pushed on without them. Buy the time they had caught us up it would have been 7 pm and still over half the flight to do. We only met another couple of boats before we reached the BW yard so all the locks would have been with them. The second lock from the top was full and it was now that it decided to rain, I hung around in the pound below and Diana dived under the trees while the lock emptied, needless to say it stopped as soon as we were on our way again.  At the top of the flight the long term moorings look very empty with only about half the spaces occupied, were the rest cruising or is this due to the time it takes to re-let moorings under the new tender system. We continued on through Shrewley Tunnel to moor at Rowington, pulling in at about 8 pm. There were several boats here already so we stopped well short of the last one, because as I write this now at 10 30 they still have a generator running on the towing path so they can watch TV.

You will find our latest position at

Sunday 28 June 2009

Napton to Stratford on Avon

Well as you can see from the heading we have made up our minds what we are doing.

We left our moorings in the bottom pound of the Napton flight on the South Oxford canal at 9 45 this morning. There were a steady stream of boats coming towards us as we headed towards Wigrams Turn and of course we met one on a tight bend with a boat moored on the outside, just to make it harder for everyone.

We turned left at Wigrams . north on the Grand Union with it's wide locks  arriving at Calcutt lock just as 2 boats were going down, but again boats were coming towards us and by the time the lock was ready for us, the boat moored behind us last night had caught us up so we went down together, unfortunately they moor in Calcutt Marina so after just 3 locks we were on our own again.

We were hoping that there would be someone to share the Stockton flight with and as I looked back a saw a boat come out of Ventner Farm Marina but he pulled over just before the top of the flight. We arrived at the locks just at lunch time and two boats were coming out so we went into the lock and waited 10 minutes  just to make sure that the boat behind  had stopped and then pushed on alone. At the second lock we could see that a boat coming up, still below the bridge had drawn the bottom paddles on the next 4 locks, so we had no choice but to sit and wait for them to come up. We stopped at Shop Lock to buy ice creams from WFB but unfortunately the were closed so we made our way down the The Two Boats for a pint of bitter and a sit in the shade. After about three quarters of an hour we set off again and had a steady run down alone to below Fosse Top Lock tying up a little after 6 pm.

Saturday 27 June 2009

June and July travels

We arrived at the boat at about 10-30 on Friday night after stopping to eat at a pub on the Daventry ring road. I didn't realise that an order of £15 for the two of us would have resulted in a free bottle of wine, if I had just had ordered mains and sweets it would have been enough, just!


Today we didn't start that early and went by car to the working boat rally at Braunston. Entry was free but car parking was £10 with the money going to good causes. The Mill House was charging £5 but I guess the money was all going to them, so I happily paid my tenner. As usual Tim had organised an excellent show and had invited many small waterways related traders who couldn't afford to go to Crick and such like.

We returned to Harnser about 5 pm and wondered what to do, I then recalled that someone I met at the show (Clive) said that the River Festival was on at Stratford next weekend and a look in Waterways World not only confirmed this but also a traditional boat show at Henley in a few weeks time, we should have time to do both, but a phone call on Monday will confirm if we can still attend Stratford. With this in mined we pushed off down the flight mooring just above the bottom lock at 7 pm for the night.