We woke to sunshine, last nights rain had All gone, but by the time we had finished breakfast we had light drizzle, but our luck was about to improve.
We set off at quarter to ten and by the time we had don lock 11 the rain had stopped. Arriving we could see it was empty as one bottom gate was wide open, so the boat moored near the bottom must have come down yesterday after noon. As we worked up lock ten a crew arrived at lock 11 to follow us up, if we had set off at our normal 10 o'clock they would have been ahead of us and all the the locks would have been against us, doubling both the work and time. The weather was quite pleasant now and 2 hours later we were at the top and still dry. At the top lock there were two volunteers which surprised us, also the top lock was full but as we came up number two they set it for us and helped us through. Once we cleared Atherstone it really started to rain, but with no locks I could keep dry under a brolly, it also meant I couldn't eat my soup as I didn't have a free hand. Thankfully the rain didn't last too long which resolved the situation. There were very few boats moored above Atherstone and none at all at Springwood Haven or at Hartshill , there was no smell from the meat rendering plant due to the wingd direction.
We caught up with a boat full of CRT volunteers who were hard at work cutting back the offside vegetation using a long reach chainsaw. I had hardly brought Harnser to a standstill when the steerer waved me by on the near side.
Rothen have their short flats and weed cutting boats all stored on racks, I wonder if they have taking into account the weight of rain water that may collect in them, or maybe they have a removable drain plug in the bottoms to let the rain run out. I once launched an Offshore life boat for exercise only to find someone had left the bung out.
We stuck to our plan to pass through Nuneaton before mooring for the night to keep us somewhat on schedule, not that it matters really. For several years there has been a derelict farm and farmhouse on the offside just to the south of Nuneaton, well it's not there any more, all traces of it have been removed from the landscape. We had just finished mooring up when nb. Campanella came towards us a fellow Cutweb member so I gave her a hand to moor up behind us. As I type this it is raining yet again, short but very sharp showers.
10 miles, 11 locks in 4¾ hours
To see a map of the first half of our journey click HERE. For the second half click HERE and a Google map will open
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