At least the last two locks that we have worked were up! We are progressing steadily toward the hefty incline of the Hatton Flight. The way from Braunston to here was relatively easy as we had a full crew and a guest 12 year old lad from Germany. He was so keen to impress that he would not allow us to wind the paddles on the large Grand Union (Warwick and Birmingham) canal. We also had the delightful company of Karen, single handed, on nb Aitch. One small hitch was going on the cill while waiting (in the lock) for some hirers who had prepared three locks ahead on the Stockton flight. Filling the last lock lowered the level of the pound and lock just enough to nip SONFLOWER on the submerged second step of the cill. I didn't know there was one! Frantic waving and a bit of refilling soon did the trick and the boat was, fortunately, never in jeopardy.
We followed our new found rule of mooring up whenever a dark cloud or other evidence of precipitation was within sight so the way was slower than many would have expected but very enjoyable. We met nice people at Bridge 100 which is now bedecked with posts and chains to stop the wary falling off the edge where the dilapidated parapet has now been removed.
The ritual end of day game of UNO was enlivened by the introduction of many German 'house rules' that found new uses for many of the UNO cards but these were so confusing that our Britannic minds soon reverted to the standard game.
We also had a couple of very interesting sessions of angling. At one mooring, fairly near the River Leam we were shown a place where brown trout have been known to favour. However the bank was so steep that I took quite a prat fall on the recently moistened path. I didn't go there again and am not too sure that I could find it now either. The same informant told us that there were tench in this stretch of the GU and we proved this by allowing two of them to relieve us of some of our light tackle! We did manage to catch the Saltisford carp. Having waited a lifetime for him I am convinced he was the only one in the Arm. This really is a delightful spot to stop and show our guest Historick Warwick, even if the Doll and Toy Museum has closed. The Museum, in the old market building, was very good with excellent displays of wildlife and paleantology. It is also a nice place to wait for some blue sky before venturing up the flight.
Today we had to say good by to the "Admiral Bismark", as he became afectionately titled, as we took him to catch a flight back home to Germany and big rivers. We hope that he enjoyed a short trip in a pretty little boat on a quaint little English waterway.
Another notable event on the way was a meeting with Granny Buttons in Leamington. We last met on the River Nene in Peterborough last summer. Unfortunately, he didn't have much time for gassing as he needed to get on with "real paying work" not blogging. It was nice to see him on his way to the IWA National, although he did say that he may have to do the last few miles by train as he does not want to venture out on the Thames.
Sunny Mercia Marina
3 days ago