Friday, 21 October 2011

Upper Avon

Captains Log

Canal Date                21st October 2011
Travels                        River Avon.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011 Evesham to Billingham Lock
Miles 4 - Locks 2
Still cool this morning, a few layers required.
After an earlier than usual breakfast we set off. The fist lock was only a few hundred yards away and we had to help some new hire boaters through. They were the sort that had no idea at all but would not accept any advice.
Once through the lock we were at our first location – Evesham Marina. We were booked in for a service on the Webasto heater at 10.00 Because of the time lost using the lock we did not get there until 10.30. This is boating times and it was considered to still be early. The engineer soon came to the boat complete with a laptop and set to work on the unit. He spent about 1 hour with the laptop before he took the unit off and into his workshop. He was working on it for an other hour, then he refitted it and did even more diagnostics and settings before saying that all is now fine. All this for £45.00 I think that was good value.
We then continued our cruise. This time we were travelling at least ½ mile to the next stop. This was to plastic plumbing bits. The company was on the banks of the Avon but the only way to get there was to moor under the road bridge, walk ½ mile along the main road then ½ mile back along a farm drive. While I was doing this Pam was stuck on the boat hoping that the rather weak mooring points would hold.
We then set off once again. We had been on board for 4 hours and only travelled 1 mile, slow even by our standards! We continued as far as Billington Lock. A very nice spot. We went to the De Montford pub for our evening meal. We have been in many pubs but this one was better than most. Certainly not cheapest but the quality and presentation is second to none.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011 Billington Lock
A lovely morning, bright blue sky, no wind but very cool.
Pam did a machine wash so I had to get the generator out. It’s all work work work these days! We had a lazy evening; Pam did a rather large jig-saw. I don’t know why but for some reason she did not want my help. Perhaps I was a bit too playful!

Thursday, 20 October 2011 Billington Lock to Luddington
Miles 11 - Locks 6

A beautiful morning. Sun shining, no wind. It is going to be a good day if a little on the cold side. We had a very slow cruise up the upper reaches of the river Avon. It was just so beautiful. Some stretches are wide some are narrow. As we are in an official drought, there is not a great deal of flow and the water is crystal clear. You can see fish every where you look. We eventually called it a day when we reached Luddington. The sun was starting to go down and I was beginning to feel the cold. I soon had a cosy fire going and Pam started dinner. Life is so good.

Friday 21 October 2011 Luddington to Stratford upon Avon
Miles 3 - Locks 3

The top bit of the Avon is very twisty but just as nice as the rest of the river. It’s our last day on the river. We had a 1 week permit. This runs out today.
We are moored in Bancroft Basin opposite to the RSC theatre in the centre of Stratford. There are still plenty of tourists about but know where near as many as last time we came through. We shall stay here for the weekend before setting off along the Stratford Canal towards Kings Norton.

Its that time of year now. We have to be on the lookout for closures. Some of the system is already closed due to low water and others will soon shut down for winter maintenance. We have another 56 locks to go before we get to Kings Norton Junction. Lets hope we get there before the BW engineers or the Ice!
It would be terible to be marroned in Stratford with all the pubs and restaurants. It would be just as bad for my waist as it would for my wallet!

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