Tuesday 23rd May; the Hatton flight and on to Kingswood junction
We had thought an early start in the cool would be nice, but got up later than intended and were still having breakfast when a boat started coming up the lock below. But they weren’t hurrying and we joined them for the rest of the flight. NB Time Out 3 is owned by Robert, a Tasmanian who lives on the boat when he is in the country. His crew at the moment is Kevin and together we soon got into a rhythm where I locked ahead and he closed up. The flight was very quiet apart from a few walkers and this solitary fisherman just below the thickest group of locks.
We only used one paddle and one gate at a time to reduce the workload, so our progress was steady but not fast. Eventually we met another boat coming down.
A few locks from the top, Time Out’s engine, a 1929 Gardner, stopped. Luckily he was close enough to the side to throw a rope and we bow-hauled him into the lock, where he was able to restart the engine. We were at the top just before 11, where we said goodbye and stopped to take on water (and have an ice-cream from the café).
As I was running water through the hose for a clean start to the fill a brood of ducklings came and asked for bread. They weren’t at all fazed by the spray from the hose!
On our way to Shrewley Tunnel we saw the Anglo-Welsh hirers who had been so horrified at the heavy Hatton locks yesterday. They had turned and were moored at Hatton station, and looked very happy about it too. Shrewley tunnel was wet, especially at the far end where a curtain of moss has developed over the years. You can just see the start of the horse tunnel above it, and the light of the boat behind us in the tunnel.
We moored at Rowington for lunch. The cloud was thick but after a brief shower the sun came out and it soon warmed up. The field on the other side was full of buttercups.
We stopped for the day at Kingswood Junction by the picnic area. A previous boater had had a barbecue (the box it came in was sticking out of the bin) and left the rubbish neatly bagged by the bin, rather than taking it to the skips which are not far away. A dog or fox had ripped it open and scattered the contents.
So my first job was to collect it up and take to the skips, which didn’t take long. Unfortunately people are still putting their rubbish in the bins marked for for recycling. Are they lazy, ignorant or just don’t care? It would help if the recycling bins were a different colour from the refuse bins of course.
Dave did some varnishing on a repair to the water-damaged woodwork by the back step, and then replaced the water filter under the sink.
17 locks, 6½ miles