Monday, 22 May 2017

Summer’s here …

and the time is right for another load of locks!

Monday 22nd May; Longhole Bridge to the Hatton flight

The day dawned bright and warm not cold and the sun was coming out as we got going before 8 – rather early for us.  The morning was lovely and it soon warmed up.  At Wood lock we met Trafalgar, one of the Royal Navy's holiday boats which are based at Calcutt.  They said they were stopping for breakfast on the lock mooring when I asked innocently if they were going down; but one of the crew knew they shouldn’t moor there and so they had their bacon sarnies on the move and we shared all the way to Radford Bottom lock. We paused there to dump rubbish and get the dog back on board – she hates these broad locks with metal walkways and won’t cross them if she can avoid it, and as we were on the offside it was easier to move across for her.

At one of the bridges in Leamington Spa are a couple of holiday flats – this one is right by a main road and opposite a take-away.  It might be by the canal but I’m not sure I’d fancy it.

1 holiday flat in L spa opp takeaway

Soon after that we saw a good boat name (though I’m sure it would upset traditionalists).

2 good name

Then, just past the aqueduct over the river Leam we saw our first cygnets.  Mum and Dad were looking on fondly at the time …..

4 first cygnets

but then they felt threatened by a couple of cyclists coming from one direction and two walkers from the other. 

5 protective parents

The cob gave the bike wheels a severe pecking but the walker seemed to escape.  The one following had her shopping bag attacked, but the cyclists were protected by their bikes.  As we pulled away another cyclist arrived – who would be the first to back down?

6 who will blink first

Swan 1, cyclist 0.

There was a space at the Tesco mooring so we pulled in for some shopping, and I was glad to see that you can still dispose of most of your recycling here – unlike the one at Leighton Buzzard which now only takes glass.

We had lunch before moving on and changed into shorts for the first time this year.  As we went through the bridge, a couple laden with shopping hailed us – Trish and Dave of NB Traveller’s Joy who used to live in our village.  They were pointing in the opposite direction so just time for a quick hello.

7 travellers joy been to Tesco

At Cape locks we had to wait for two boats ahead of us.  Above the lock the fender-makers were working in the sunshine.

9 getting knotted

It was very hot but we wanted to move on a bit before stopping.  We started up the Hatton flight on our own, but with only four locks to do that wasn’t an issue. 

12 lower hatton

It was hot work but we were soon moored up above the fourth lock, with just one other boat at the far end of the pound.  By 5.30 it had cooled a little, enough for Meg to sit outside.

13 chillin

I went for a run to the top of the flight.  I passed two boats which had gone by while we were having lunch – what a hot afternoon to do the whole of Hatton! On the way back I stopped to talk to a couple on an Anglo-Welsh who were just starting down, under the impression they only had to do 5 locks before they could moor.  Along with another boater we explained there were another 8 before there was a chance of mooring and 21 in the flight.  They wanted to visit Warwick and we left them discussing whether to turn in the little arm by the bridge.

We were still in T-shirts at 7.30.  Apart from the road and railway, neither very close, and an occasional plane, it was a peaceful spot.  There was ‘red sky at night’ as the sun set though the photo doesn’t really show it.

13 lovely mooring at 2120

11 locks 8 miles