Monday, February 04, 2008

We spent the weekend moored where we stopped on Friday. Not bad weather, but Mags wasn’t so well, and we had to “gird our loins” ready for the 19 remaining locks of the Hatton Flight.
Had a trip to Sainsbury’s on Saturday, about 20 minutes away, and Sonya arrived at the weekend, to stay with Carol for a couple of weeks.

We only saw two boats in the locks all weekend and these were the hotel boats of Rev. Reed, Oak and Ash. They were coming down so left all the locks in our favour. We were ready to get off this morning when another boat passed us, going up. Typical. So now we had to empty each lock as we arrived at it. Such is life.

So we waited for 40 minutes or so to let them get ahead, then set off about 10:20. Far easier than expected, and very enjoyable climbing the 130 or so feet to the top of the flight. We were helped by a gentleman called Nick, who, in exchange for a cup of coffee, stayed with us from about ¼ of the way up. So we had 1 going ahead to set the locks, 2 on the lockside of the current lock, and 2 on the boats. Rock and Roll!!

In the flight, St Mary’s Church in the distance.
A bit daunting…….

We got even faster at the halfway mark when Mags and Carol decided to breast both boats up side by side.

Breasted up for the top half of the flight.
We actually caught up with the preceding boat at the top lock, having taken 2½ hours for the 19 locks.

Hatton Top Lock
Opposite the maintenance yard near the top there’s this sculpture of a dragonfly.
Water tanks filled, loo cassettes and bins emptied, and we were on our way again for another 30 minutes or so. We stopped just short of Shrewley Tunnel near Bridge 58, the girls pushed on through the tunnel to get nearer the pub! I guess they deserve it.

Contrary to what we expected from the forecast, it’s been a beautiful day, with just one short shower. We’ve still got that sneaky wind, but without that we’d have been in T shirts and shorts! (Well, maybe… it is only February).

Locks 19, miles only 3!

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