Tuesday 31 May 2011

Back at Napton 31 5 2011

The sun was shining through the porthole straight into my face at 6-30 this morning, we moved off at 10 and by 10-30 it was raining, thankfully it didn’t last. We had to stop at Midland Chandlers to pick up the new Boatman’s Premier stove and we pulled in to MC wharf beside an New Zealand boat that was having a new set of batteries fitted.
The traffic was mayhem, a hire boat had stopped across the arm of Braunston Junction and wanted to tern round by backing up and just sticking his bow in the Napton direction, he may have made it if we and the other boat had not been there, eventually he conceded to listen and go forward towards Napton and then backwards on the other side or the triangle towards Braunston and then forwards again towards Rugby, where he had come from.
Next a Napton hire boat came from Napton towards Rugby, she was steering and he was operating the speed and gear control. not a good combination, not only did they hit another Napton boat but they looked as if they were playing that game where 2 players put there feet and hands on different numbered rings. This was rapidly followed by a Black prince going from Braunston to Napton at the same time as an ex Ownerships stopped with his bow across the junction, the BP hit the concrete edging and so it went on.

We collected our stove and headed off towards Napton in surprisingly light traffic seeing very few boats on the move at all. We considered mooring just past Napton Narrowboats to visit the Kings Head for lunch but the moorings were chocker block, we also met a BW tug pushing a flat at this spot with a load of what looked like stop planks on board. The next option was to stop at The Bridge where again surprisingly there were only 3 other boats moored.
Following a pleasant lunch and a pint we were on the move again only to have a chap tell us that there was a 2 hour wait at the Napton flight as he had just walked from there. On the strength of that information and the fact that 2 boats came by as I was waiting to push off we chugged slowly round the hill, passing BW installing piling just before the winding hole only to find that the boat ahead had moored up, the other was getting water, a third was at the sani station and the lock was empty, result, straight in and up, most of the locks were against us and we only met a couple of boats coming down, but by now the sun was out which made a big difference to the world.
We arrived at the top of the flight and winded in the engine arm before dropping onto our moorings at about 4-30. We will slide down to the lock later to unload the boat and fill up with water. Since we have been here there has been a steady flow going up and down plus a couple winding in the arm. Tomorrow its hopefully home with the AA.

60 Miles 22 locks and 2 AA lorries

Monday 30 May 2011

Willoughby 30 May 2011

DSCF5880Last night there were 2 fishermen set up for the night just through the next bridge complete with bivvie. When we passed them this morning it was all zipped up, the rods stood up and no sign of life so they were probably getting a bit of sleep, but what did strike me was they had a TV aerial erected on it.

Last nights moorings were quite close to the motorway and although the noise was not to intrusive we could hear it. When we woke this morning it was raining steadily and we could not hear the motorway at all, by the time se set off it was still raining, it rained all day, but again we could hear the traffic, so I don’t know if something happened that caused the motorway to stop for an hour or so

When ever we pass under bridge 24 I always wonder why it was DSCF5881built, there must be a good 30 feet clearance under it and it crosses both the canal and the railway, it looks a bit like a railway bridge or an aqueduct with what looks like a trough on a flat metal deck. I discounted aqueduct as its at least 30 ft. above most of the surrounding land.

We turned into Lime Farm Marina to fill with diesel, I think they are the cheapest in the area at 82p and tied up. I had enquired on our way north if they would be open today and John said it would be late afternoon as he was off to Crick, so we settled in for a long wait with a cup of tea. I just got all my wet clothes off and the tea in my hand when John walked up, he hadn’t even been to Crick yet  so I was soon £137 poorer and on my way again.
As we approached Hillmorton locks a boat on the water point waved me in behind him and said “There is a queue because there is only one lock working” Diana and his wife both walked up with windlasses in hand and guess what, both locks were fine but everyone had been using just one as someone had said one was broken, this got things moving a bit and we were soon on our way. We had heard the boat ahead go by this morning, he has a twin cylinder Gardener that is only firing on one and is on his way to Tony Rendshaw’s to get it looked at. We didn’t meet any boats in the flight which speeded things up a bit but we did start meeting boats before The Royal Oak, so they had the whole flight with them. Its not possible to moor outside the pub now as its all used by Armada Hire Boats.
By the time we reached the Barby straight we had caught up with the boat with the sick engine, it didn’t matter as we were only going at tick over speed passed all the moored boat and I managed to get a couple of photos of the new marina, work has definitely moved on but there is still a long way to go.DSCF5887DSCF5885DSCF5888
Its a shame they left their tools out in the rain.

Just after this the boat ahead pulled over and waved us and the boat following us passed as they were conscious of holding people up, by now it had turned 6 p.m. and the weather was brightening, we carried on to just before Willoughby road bridge, the boat behind pulled in a short way ahead of us and then a little later the boat with a sick engine turned up to moor between us, all this was being watched by the cows opposite.DSCF5900

Sunday 29 May 2011

Sunday 29 May 2011 Coventry Cruising Club

Last night just after we had gone to bed we could hear the rain of the roof but it didn’t amount to much, however the wind picked up quite a bit and the boat banged the hard edging a few times in spite of the fenders being down.

We set off this morning at quarter past ten, if was a bit warmer than the past couple of mornings but still breezy. We met quite a few boats one right under bridge 17 which has a narrow twisting approach from the north, luckily it was a hire boat with a steerer who did backwards.

DSCF5871We passed under the remains of the bridge leading to The Rose and Castle public house, this has recently been partly demolished by the brewery as it had been deemed unsafe. They have removed the main arch over the canal but the side pieces are still standing DSCF5874with a scaffold bridge spanning the cut. I think this is so the workman can access both sides as its covered with danger, keep off notices. I don’t know if they will require a further stoppage to complete the work, but I would not be surprised considering how close it is to the canal.

We had just passed through Ansty and under the M69 when we spotted a small goat with its head stuck through the stock fencing. It was to shallow to get the boat over so that I could get ashore to rescue it, but then a chap walked his dog by on the towing path and when I explained the problem said he would ring the farm when he got home.

We continued heading towards Hawkesbury Junction when we met nb.Copperkins II with friends of ours on board. I slipped into reverse and was silently congratulating my self what a neat manoeuvre it was and looking at the other boat, what I didn’t notice until to late was that the stern was slowly drifting into the offside bank, where I picked up the biggest blade full of willow root which after spinning round the prop was like an old piece of rope, it must have taken a good 30 minutes to cut it all away with a Stanley knife and drag it out, about half a bucket full in all.

The moorings in Hawkesbury were all full so we continued on through the lock dropping all of 9”. It is interesting that this lock like all other BW locks has a cill marking, a notice to tell you to keep ahead of the cill and a safety ladder to climb up if you fall in while the lock is at the lower level, as I said 9”. From here it is a very hard right turn 360 deg. onto the Coventry Canal running parallel with the lock we just left. We continued along the Coventry Canal for about two and a half miles, passed Charity Dock where the manikins have had a change of clothes since we last came this way and to Marston Junction where the Ashby Canal joins the Coventry canal. We turned round at the junction and started to retrace our steps as far as Bedworth where we stopped of to see friends for tea and delicious Apple Cake. We stayed with them rather longer than we should and I hope diner wasn’t spoilt because of us. We pushed off to find a mooring for the night at Sutton Stop, but no chance, nose to tail boats long the Coventry and the Oxford as far as the old power station and we didn’t fancy mooring opposite that so we carried on passed The Elephant and Castle to moor about 300 yards before the DSCF5878Coventry Cruising Club. As we made our way along the Oxford this twin engined bi plane  passed over us and I just had time to get the camera for this quick shot. You can’t see it very well in this shot but from below it has very slender wings.

Saturday 28 May 2011

All Oaks Wood, Brinklow 28 5 2011

Last night we met up with Pat and Sheila and spent the evening in The Boathouse. I must say for a chain pub I think the service is very good and friendly and the food fresh and tasty. All main courses are two for one so the price isn’t bad ether, its full table service so no trying to remember a table number and fighting your way to the bar only to be asked if the one of the dishes was chips or jacket. Even the drinks are brought to your table.

I woke early this morning to the sound of rain on the roof but by the time we got up it was a very light drizzle but quite breezy.
The first job was a trip to Midland Chandlers to get a refund on the smoke box I took back that I had bought for the Back Cabin stove and more importantly to buy a new stove with 15% discount this weekend.

We set off at about 10 30 heading north along the North Oxford, Braunston was quite busy and it would help if BW cut the offside bushes by the A5 bridge to improve the sight line, also the off side trees opposite the 14 day moorings to give a bit more room when meeting oncoming boats.
The rain held off and we met quite a few oncoming boats. Work is in progress at the new Barby Marina with the concrete entrance set in, but there is still a lot of work to do, including splaying the offside bank to give sufficient room to swing into the entrance.

At Hillmorton locks we found both locks against us even though we had met a steady stream of boats, we managed to cross with one in the middle locks but not only were both bottom locks empty, one side had the bottom gates wide open and the paddle still up, needless to say this wasn’t spotted by the hire boat that had been moored for lunch below the middle lock and Diana dropped the paddle before they tried to fill it, I don’t think they even noticed.
We stopped for water below the locks, the water flow/pressure is not to bad with just one of the standpipes in use but when someone uses the second the reduction in flow is very noticeable.
Once topped up we were off again, Clifton Cruisers were getting boats ready for the off with there new crews arriving as we passed, some of the boats moored two deep, but with no one approaching it wasn’t a problem. It was quite congested at Brownsover, again not helped by the trees on the offside and boats mooring on the bend right up to the bridge. I think the Rose Narrowboat coming towards us thought it was a driving test as he had to slide between me and the moored boats, he did touch them but only gently, but that is a price you pay for mooring on bends in my book.
We stopped briefly at Lime Farm marina to enquire if they would be open for diesel on Monday so we could fill up on our return and then pushed on to moor for the night just past All Oaks Wood at 1630 hrs. Since I have been typing this we have had several boats go by including a Rose day boat  that was traveling a bit faster than he should passed a row of moored boats, I best go and check the stakes.

Friday 27 May 2011

Friday 27 May 2011 Braunston

Last night we visited The Folly to eat but they were full to the seams, its the busiest I have seen the place for many years, unfortunately it was so busy we went back to the boat to eat.

During the night the wind died away the barometer has been rising steadily leading to a fine but mainly overcast day. We didn’t set off until 11 am by which time most of the other boats around us had departed, I heard the first go well before we got up.

DSCF5862BW are hard at work (well the equipment is all there) repiling the towing path just to the north of the winding hole. This section has been eroding at a tremendous rate over the past couple of years and has been fenced off with no mooring signs for the last year.

DSCF5867We saw several small foals below the windmill with their short, spikey manes, looking like something left over from the crew-cut days. 

The canal was quite quiet and as we approached  bridge 102 I was aware of a cruiser coming up behind me, he followed me through bridge 101, not to close and round the sharp bends, I held well over in case he wanted to come past and as we cleared the second bend by the old railway bridge he shot passed  us, between us and the moored boat I had slowed right down for and didn’t even acknowledge I existed. The moored boat rocked about a bit with the swell, we he had to pass quickly as there was another narrow boat coming the other way at the time.

We continued on into Braunston going down to the Marina entrance to wind. Some people have obviously missed the entrance big time as can be seen by all the missing bricks on the east entrance wall. Once turned round we retraced our steps hoping to moor opposite The Boat House, but by now both spaces had been taken and we pulled in just through bridge 91, however we had hardly tied up when a hire boat left the moorings right outside The Boat House and as we intend to eat here tonight we swiftly moved over into the spot they had vacated shortly after 2pm.

Since we have been here the sun has come out and its got quite warm, the canal is reasonably busy and most of the boats moored on the towing path opposite the pub have left to be replaced by new arrivals, I expect they had just stopped for lunch.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Thursday 26 May back on board

We didn’t have a bad run from Lowestoft with intermittent very heavy shows. By the time we reached Napton I was in great need of a cup of tea so we stopped off at Bridge Nurseries for a cupper and some magic cake made from lemon merengue sponge.

We turned into the moorings and the car went into alarm as the rear suspension collapsed so it looks like we will be going home with the AA after the weekend.

As we walked to the boat it started to rain so we did a few odds and ends like making up the bed etc. before moving off down to the lock to load up. The canal is much quieter today than last time we were here and we were able to load up in peace before heading off down the flight. All the locks were against us until the last two where we met a couple of boats coming up the flight, there were no boats moored in the bottom pound but as the bottom lock sat open ready for us to go down I could not resist it.

We moored for the night on the visitor moorings between the Folly and the winding hole, taking up the last available spot on the straight edging just before 5 30 pm.

Monday 16 May 2011

Braunston to Napton Sunday 8 May 2011

After saying our goodbyes to every one we made ready to set off, we were moored just above lock two and we spotted a single hire boat coming down the pound and I gave them a shout as they passed requesting to share.

As the lock dropped with us both in it I could see the chap on a boat moored just below the lock scurrying around, well rushing would be a better description and just as our gates opened he rushed off to lock one before the pair of us could leave lock two.

As I had helped this boat down the flight at 7 30 on the Saturday night and now he had nicked my lock I thought it prudent to allow the hire boat to go ahead and join him, I may have been unable to hold my tongue.

Below the lock was crowed when we did finally get down, this was not helped by one paddle being out of action, slowing things down, its a big lock to empty though one paddle.

We  pulled over at the Stop House and filled with water before continuing on our way south as far as Braunston Junction where we stopped at Midland Chandlers to buy a new smoke box for the boatman's cabin stove as the old one has cracked badly, probably due to rust caused by the rain coming in through the back hatch.

DSCF5828We had a duck hitch a lift as we made our way along the puddle bank and her mate joined her shortly afterwards, thankfully they both left without leaving any presents on the roof.


There were very few boats about and we were looking forward to a good run up the flight, even though we had not seen anyone ahead of us since we had been on the Oxford there was still a boat going up the first pound as we got to the bottom of the Napton flight. We were assisted with the first lock by a BW employee, apparently they now man the Napton flight at weekends.

Once at the top of the flight we moored towing path side opposite our moorings and drove down to see my son and his family for the afternoon, returning to the boat for the night.

Monday morning I decided to remove the Boatman's Cabin Stove and take it home to repaint it. As I looked at it more closely I could see that not only the smoke box was cracked but there was a crack in the stove top. When I got it home I removed the top, its only held on with 4 nuts and bolts, it was then that I discovered the front was also cracked and the oven box well rusted. At this point it was decided to scrap it and purchase an new one.
Hopefully now we have fit waterproof curtain inside the rear hatch the new stove will keep dry as we make our way along in the rain.


65 miles and 84 locks

Friday 13 May 2011

Watford to Braunston Sat 7 2010

We set off on the short run to the top of the Watford Flight, there were no other boats ahead of us, but we had to wait for 4 coming up. The first was a boat belonging to the LNBP  with an all girl crew. This was followed by another all female crew an old 70 foot springer,  with a well deck lower that the water level, as they made their way up the flight the well deck was collecting more and more water, by the top lock one crew member was baling with a saucepan.

Due to badly leaking gates part way up the staircase, for a 70ft boat BW have to empty the higher lock before filling the lower one which is the reverse of the normal procedure and wastes the water from the upper lock.
As the lock keeper was busy helping the longer boats through I assister the third boat up by operating  the gates for him on the towing path side. This was all in the steadily falling rain. Once the forth boat was up we were soon on our way

A short way past the A5 I was informed by a man on a boat that we met that I was going far to fasted I was making a terrible wash.

At Norton Junction it was right hand down and off towards the tunnel and not another boat in sight. Then just as we got to the Welton Rd. Bridge 2 boats pulled out from the wharf on the off side and went through the tunnel ahead of us, so that is a queue at the locks.  Half way through the tunnel a boat came in behind us and then we met an oncoming boat with twin headlights.
We approached the lock as the boats ahead were locking down and the boat behind pulled into the moorings. We had to wait while a boat full of pirates came came up the lock, by now the boat that was following and then moored had caught up with us. I appeared he had problems with his engine cutting out, once he was in the lock with us it was evident that he had diesel problems as his bilge pump was putting a slick onto the water. It was a slow run down as the two boats ahead held back two locks down under instructions from BW, but I think it was just because there were two boat entering the next lock down and coming up.

We only went down to the pound below the Admiral Nelson where we moored for the night.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

welcome back Live Writer

I have just re-downloaded the latest from Live Writer an am just testing a posting and spellchecking.

The photo attached is a very thin hulled boat at Long Itchington.


Friday 6 May 2011

Crick, Yelvertoft,Elkington, Watford

We set off just before 10 am. a warm morning but not so sunny as of lately. At Norton Junction we turned left up the Leicester Arm, the first port of call was to the houses at Watford Gap where one of the house holders sells home made produce at the bottom of their garden. The do some very niece chutneys. Then we passed the Thai restaurant just under the road bridge; unfortunately their quay heading is now so bad it’s impossible to moor here. We carried on to the Watford flight where Diana went off to find the lock keeper, as the bottom lock was empty and there were no other boats in sight I went into the first lock to wait instructions. We were to come up two locks to the bottom of the staircase and then wait for a boat coming down. By now there were two more boats behind us who in turn sent their crew members to book in with the lock keeper.DSCF5793
The lady from the third boat back stopped for a word as she returned to her boat, between us we had caused a bit of confusion as both boats are called Harnser. The other one is a Steve Hudson boat that was being built at the same time as I was fitting ours out. We almost bought a Steve Hudson hull so imagine the confusion if it had been two Steve Hudson boats called Harnser. We made good time up the flight with the volunteer Lock Keeper assisting us by opening and closing the gates on the opposite side to the paddle gear.
Crick Tunnel was quite wet as usual but very warm, we met two boats right at the far end, the second was entering as we left and they had a dog lose on the roof, it didn’t look at all happy with the situation and was cowering down. Once through the tunnel we were in bright sunshine and probably the warmest it’s been this year.
The new marina at Yelvertoft is looking fine with the banks all grassed and once passed there I pulled over to take some photos of the ruin brick buildings just before bridge 19 on the off side. I thought they may be an old lime Kiln but now I am not so sure. If anyone knows what they are I would love to hear from you.
We continued on to just past bridge 28 as that is the first winding hole after the one at Crack’s Hill, Crick.
Once winded we retraced our steps, meeting the other Harnser on the way to moor for the night between Watford Locks and Crick Tunnel, This time we didn’t meet anyone in the tunnel but a boat ahead left just as we entered, maybe it was something I said.

Thursday 5 May 2011

Big locks and a Tunnel

We set off alone at 10 am. The pound had dropped between 10 and 12 cm overnight, that’s a lot of water on a pound that length. We had just passed The Two boats when we spied a boat ahead just pulling into the lock moorings and him and Diana went and drew the lock, needless to say as soon as it was empty a boat appeared above it to come down, still it saved closing the gates. Surprise surprise, the next lock was full; the boat ahead must have been moored in that pound overnight.
We stopped for water opposite The Blue Lias, I don’t remember there being such good pressure on that tap before, the other boat went on alone, but didn’t get far ahead as the flight was against them and when they saw us coming they waited in the third lock up. As we caught up the wife went on to set the next lock, Diana closed up behind us and we carried on like this all the way up the flight.
As we were working up I thought, wouldn’t it be good to meet a hotel pair now. We were just closing the top gates when Snipe and Taurus came into view. Why hadn’t they been an hour earlier.
A couple of days earlier Snipe had been moored just behind us, it was the same colour as this Snipe but it wasn’t the same boat, it must have been her predecessor which could lead to some confusion.
We both arrived at Calcutt bottom together just as a boat was exiting which was handy, then there were a pair coming down in the second lock and Diana when ahead to open the gates on the empty top lock. As we locked up the second lock a boat pulled out from Calcutt online moorings but he had the good manners not to go into the lock that Diana had opened up, but he didn’t lose much as there were 4 boats coming down.
We pushed on alone as the other boat stopped off to Wigrams Turn where we turned sharp left towards Braunston. DSCF5783

The sunken boat on the puddle bank is still there, but now is sitting alone with just a big blue drum sitting on the cabin top so you can see where it is.


I pulled over by the Stop House to drop Diana off to dump the rubbish and walk ahead with her windlass to set the bottom Braunston lock read for me, luckily just as I entered the lock I looked back to see a boat in the distance so while I waited in the lock Diana got the ice creams in. I knew there wasn’t anyone following us and this boat had pulled out of the marina after we passed.
We didn’t meet anything in the flight and had to turn every lock, we were working well but even so there was a Canal Club boat chasing up behind us with someone setting ahead.
We entered the tunnel alone and I could just see the boat ahead silhouetted in the far portal, then I spotted a headlight in the distance, we had reached the bendy bit before our paths crossed and they were sitting against the side not moving. By now I could hear the roar of the Canal Club boat behind us, it sounded flat out and doing at least 6 MPH considering how quickly they also passed the oncoming boat. As we left the tunnel the noise from their engine was just something else and it was not long before they caught us up with a fair wash.
From here to Norton Junction there were several moored boats and boats trying to moor on what looks a good edge but is very shallow, the Canal Club boat hanging on my rudder, I did wonder if he was going to try passing between the bridges as I slowed for the moored boats and boats on the wrong side of the cut, but he didn’t. At Norton Junction he turned left and we right, looking for a space to moor but were out of luck, so we backed up to the junction, through the bridge towards Braunston and moored on the rings just prior to bridge 10. As I turned at the junction I could see the Canal Club boat who was now travelling quite sedately.

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Welsh road to Long Itchington

As planned this morning was spent changing all the white blobs from yesterday into grey ones, and as you can see there were several of them.

We walked the dog up passed Welsh Road Lock where this strange craft is moored, its been in the area for a couple of years now and I think its an ex navigation buoy. I do wonder how stable it is to walk around on as the section of hull in the water is very narrow, maybe only 3-4 feet, the main belly is actually above the surface. It is displaying a BW licence in one of the very small portholes but I would be surprised it ties in with the registration number on the superstructure which is quite old, but then it may be the original superstructure with a new hull?
After lunch we made a move and took a slow run up to Long Itchington to moor just north of where we were at the weekend on the few mooring rings installed along that stretch. Just prior to the moorings we passed a moored boat with the hull so thin there are actually holes in it, if its like this above the water line I wonder what its like under the surface where you can’t see it.
While we were moored here I gave the roof patches another coat of none slip grey, its not meant to be none slip, but there has been so much rubbish blowing about that its quite rough, but at least it’s the right colour. I also fitted a new aerial for the car radio in the bedroom, but the reception is still as bad as ever.

This evening we went to eat at the Buck and Bell, probably the most expensive meal I have had in a pub but very good, I would defiantly go again. We walked back to the boat across the fields, leaving the footpath about half way to return to the towing path DSCF5768by the aqueduct where the sign says ”Access for BW only” I would love to know who did the design and supervision of the steps cut into the steep bank. The wooden edges to the steps in most cases have no back fill at all and if it is supposed to give a safe access and egress for BW employees who fills in the risk assessment when they visit the aqueduct.

Monday 2 May 2011

A round trip to Radford winding hole

We spent the morning sanding down the worst rust spots off the roof and treating them with Kur-rust. This exercise took us through to lunchtime after which we set off to Radford bottom lock to wind. We caught up with another boat at Foss middle lock and shared a couple of locks with them until at Radford lock we caught up with boat just entering the lock so we pulled over and waved the other boat passed so they could join them.
Once we had dropped through the lock we just went as far as the winding hole where we turned to retrace our steps back to Welsh Road locks to moor again for the night. We couldn’t get in as close as yesterday but its close enough for Magic to get on and off.
Once tied up I set to with the paint primer to give all the earlier treated spots a coat to protect them, hopefully tomorrow I will splash a bit of grey on them.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Bye bye beer festival

Sunday 1 may 2011
Another sunny day and quite warm on the canal where we were sheltered from the brisk wind. We walked into the village to visit the car boot sale, not over exciting and we didn’t stay long. The next stop was The Buck and Bell who were running a BBQ serving some very tasty meals in rolls at a fiver a time, cooked by the restaurant chef while you waited. I had chicken and bacon with salad all served in a roll while Diana had steak with the salad in a roll, washed down with a couple of halves of bitter. We then wandered around a bit before going to The Green Man as they had a folk group playing in the afternoon. Can anyone tell me why people visit the room in a bar that has people performing with no amplification and then insist on talking to each other on loud voices to get over the music.

The farmhouse behind the church has changed hands in the passed year and they also own most of the fields between the village and the canal and also on the offside, he has had these all planted with trees so there should be some new woodland in a few years time.

We headed back to the boat and had a coffee with Andy who was now moored directly behind us before setting off at ten to four. The first stop was just through bridge 27 to fill the water tank, this is a very good tap with a very good flow but needs treating with care as the local bees use it as their watering hole.

We turned the bend just before the Bascote Staircase just in time to see a boat going down, by the time we arrived at the lock they had just gone into the bottom chamber and closed the interconnecting gates. As I dropped Diana off to refill the top chamber I noticed that the bottom paddle was still a few inches up. Diana went to close it which lead to lots of shouting from the boat below as they thought Diana was actually drawing it. We caught the other boat up just after the entered the next lock and shared the next couple with them. Chatting to them it turned out to be mum and dad, daughter and son-in-law and they had only just got the boat which they moor at Calcutt, the boat didn’t have any bedding and they were only meant to be out for the day, but now needed to go to Radford Bottom to wind. It should be an interesting night for them.

We pulled over for the night just below Welsh Road Lock to moor for the night, we were just tying up when a young couple stopped on bikes and ask if I could help as his pedal kept falling off, a 14mm socket spanner soon sorted it out for him.