Although we’ve had rain, it hasn’t helped the lower half of the Atherstone locks. The pounds were low yesterday on the upper five, but two pounds on the lower six were maybe 18” down this morning, making them impassable.
We’d set off just after half-ten, optimistically expecting to be mooring up near Polesworth by 1 o’clock. But it was not to be. As we approached Lock 6 a boat was waiting in the lock and the crew told us what the problem was.
Below Lock 7 three boats were grounded, one in the lock and two on the pound below. Of course, the rumour was that a hire boat had left a paddle up… The poor old hirers always get blamed for incidents like this. Often unfairly.
Still waiting above Lock 7, the boat below has managed to get up the pound from Lock 8, but has run aground just below Lock 7.
CRT had been informed, several times it seems, and they were running water down the flight, so we were able to gradually bring the water levels up.
We finally got moving at around midday, dropping down Lock 7 and picking our way carefully along the still low pound below.
But we were moving, and steadily too, as boats started to come up.
We had to hover above L9 as a boat was coming up and the pound was still too low to risk going in to the side, but we were entertained by the swallows skimming the water taking insects. Mags pointed out three taking a break, but they’d flown off by the time I got the camera aimed. So I waited, and was rewarded…
We finally left the bottom lock at half-one, stopping at the services at Bradley Green Bridge then toddling out across the pleasant Warwickshire countryside.
We were all feeling hungry, so decided to pull over a little early, on a very nice bit of piling just past Bridge 50.
The weather has threatened rain a couple of times, but has held off apart from a flurry of heavy drops further up the flight. Warm and breezy, too.
Locks 6, miles 2½