Had a nice pint to go with our faggots, chips and peas last night in the Dog and Doublet. People were still outside when we returned to the boat.
We were all set for our 10 am. start this morning when the hire boat moored ahead of us started his engine and walked forward to set the lock. Rather than chasing him down we did a few odds and ends before setting off at 11 am. At the first lock we came to I noticed that the pawl was not in line with the cog, this can be quite dangerous as if it just catches then it can also let fly with no warning putting the weight back onto the windlass.
Our timing was quite good as we met boats at both locks 10 and 11.
Last time we were this way CRT or their contractors were installing safety bollards beside the lock, I assume to stop cars driving into the lock, I am not sure how useful they are as I couldn’t see any paint on them.
We continued towards Fazeley, the chaps are doing a fine job at Drayton Foot Bridge with a new paint job, new timbers on the bridge deck and new walkways around the offside. We stopped at Fazeley Mill Marina for diesel, one of the cheapest in the area. Needless to say as I stopped to reverse in, a boat wanted to come out and once I was in, with the bows still in the entrance bridge a boat wanted to come in so I had to drop right back. As we came in originally it was ten to one and they close between 1 and 2 for lunch. once we were in we saw a note on the door of the shop “back in 10 minutes” lunch time, so we thought we may as well have our lunch. Diana had just got it ready and the chap came back, be we agreed we would both have lunch before he served us. After lunch we were soon on our way with a full tank at 65p/lt. We didn’t get much further than we saw nb. Jubilee with Jan on board, John was playing with his Sea Searcher a little further towards the junction. Diana need a couple of things from Tesco and then we both spent most of the afternoon chatting and drinking tea on Jubilee. So far we had not gone far enough to charge the batteries so we decided to head up the Coventry a bit. CRT have had a problem on Tamworth bottom lock, there is a tyre in the top offside paddle and the couldn’t get it out, the paddle is still usable but there is a yellow card on it. As we locked up I think it was a CRT volunteer who emptied the top lock and opened the gates, he was in a blue tee shirt but had left before we got there to thank him.
It was a bit sad passing the late Steve Hudson’s yard, the basin just has a couple of boats in there still in the grey plus a few moorers, he will certainly be missed on the cut.