Saturday, 29 October 2011

Stratford to Hockley Heath

Captains Log

Canal Date 29th October 2011

Travels Stratford upon Avon to Hockley Heath

Monday, 24 October 2011 Stratford to Wooton Wawen
Miles 7
Locks 17
It is time to move on, hopefully to quieter moorings. Stratford is a nice town but far to busy and noisy for us. We left the basin like proper professionals. It looked like we knew what we were doing, That does not usually happen to me when being watched! As soon as you leave the basin you start climbing locks, one after the other. The weather was fine but very windy. Our run out of Stratford was slowed down by the rather large amount of hire boats. It is the school half term and they have all come out to play today. We continued up the first two main flights and came over the Edison Aqueduct. It was extremely windy up there and I could not get the boat away from the edge. Luckily, we did not get blown over the side and managed to continue to Wooten Wawen. But the time we arrived, the sun was going down almost a fast as the temperatures. It was good to get inside and sit in front of the fire.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011 Wotton Wawen
We joined Geoff & Marg for lunch at the Navigation pub. Food and company were fine. After lunch we went for a walk to the local farm shop. The farm shop has a good selection of crusty bread. You know, the sort that has a proper crust and nice soft bread inside. "Armadillo" bread - Crunchy on the outside soft on the inside

Wednesday, 26 October 2011 Wooten Wawen to Lowsonford
Miles 4
Locks 8
After breakfast we walked to the craft centre to pick up some more of the "Armadillo" bread we had last night. We then set sail. Not far to go today, we do not want to start the main Lapworth flight today. There was some traffic about. Not enough to make a problem. It is school holidays after all. We did get into a bit of a tangle with a hire boat while we were getting water. The hire boater wanted to come on to my tap, in doing so he had completely blocked any chance I had of exiting. He had a narrow bridge hole behind him and there were 3 BW boats moored on the off side making it impossible for me to reverse. The only way for me to get away was to push the hire boat into line and we just scrapped though the bridge hole. I think I must have lost a few layers of paint in that manoeuvre!

Thursday, 27 October 2011 Lowsonford
The weather forecast was correct. It is a dull, grey, rainy and cold day. A good day for staying put and sitting in front of the fire. We went across to the pub for lunch. Of course, I had to have an afternoon nap after that.

Friday, 28 October 2011 Lowsonford to Hockley Heath
Miles 4
Locks 30
A much better start to the day, the sun is shining, no wind and a bit of autumn mist over the canal and low lying fields. A long day ahead with 30 locks to get through. Mike, an old friend of ours, joined us at 10.00 and we were soon on our way. We were obviously following a boat who had no idea. They were leaving the locks with the gates and paddles open. A bit annoying. The locks were not a busy as I expected, we did meet a few boats but mainly on our own. There was one lock, I think it was lock 26 where the gate was well and truly stuck. It took all 3 of us to move it. We arrived at Hockley Heath at 4.45 thanks to the help from Mike. Not bad time for 30 locks. I was then forced to walk to the Warf Inn for another pub lunch, We had to wait until 6.0 before we could order food, when it came it was very good indeed, and well worth the wait.

We shall remain here for the weekend before moving on to Hopwood. Will we have to spend months there again – Ice bound? I do hope not.

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