I'm writting this sat in the back cabin not too far from a AS2 thrashing down the GU, Andrea's steering, as she does every morning.
We finally got away on Monday morning about 7:30 and headed down the Coventry, through Fazeley and up Glascote locks. Here I was very supprised to see the lock keeper greasing the paddle gear and gate straps, before I had chance to speak he was off up to the next lock and we never saw him again, but he left his greasy evidence all the way up the Atherstone flight too, well done that man.
On leaving Atherstone and approaching bridge 38 I noticed most of the new wall toppers missing off the bridge and you don't need many guesses to where they are. I wound up the motor to put some water behind me then as the bows entered the bridge 'ole, I knocked of the revs and let the water wash me through then waited for the scraping and the bumping. But nothing happend, we just glided through.
Cracking on through all the places we normally get grounded, not a bump or a scrape... have BW been having a clean up. Even Nuneaton was clear, very strange. We didn't have any real problem until we got to Sutton's Stop. As we approached the junction we pick up a sheet of plastic and this cocked up my turn. By now night was falling and we thought about getting tied up somewhere. This turned out to be just short of Ansty at about 9:30.
Next morning 5:00! we're up an ready for off, got the canal to ourselves and the birds, funniest dawn corus I ever heard, sounded more like an episode of the Clangers.
After a while other boats began to get on the move and bridge 'oles became a challenge. The aquaduct just before Streton stop caused bit of confussion for one boater, he thought he had right of way, well he hadn't, then, the canal wasn't wide enough for him, it's only about 50 foot wide at that point, how much does he need?
Just as we came upto Braunston, I looked behined to see another blue deckboard gaining on us rather quickly. As we did the turn I could see it was Jaguar with Malcome Berge in charge. At the first lock he made it quite obvious without saying a word, he was pairing up with us and it looked like I was taking both boats. At the top of the locks I told him he could go first and crack on seeing as he looked to be in a hurry.
Not long after I could see the black clagg of Bollinder coming from the other side of a bridge, it was Jaguar with motor trouble. We then followed him to Buckby and desended using a Thumb line to open one gate. Having never used this method before I stood to learn something. Malcome made it quite clear that we had a lot to learn. For a Pipfitter I thought we did alright, I suppose I could teach Malcome a thing or two about bending copper steam pipe.
After that, Jaguar spead off and we just plodded our way down the GU, looking at things we'd missed before. At about 8:00 we passed Jaguar tied up and we motored on to Stoke Bruene for the night. Going through Blissworth tunnel was impressive with a demonstration from the Bat population, never seen that before. Arriving at Stoke Bruene about 10:00 just in time for a pint then bed.
This morning up at 5:00 again, Stoke locks to ourselves. see how far we get to day.
1 day ago