Sunday, 10 April 2016

Gremlins and another surprise meeting

9th April 2016
Lapworth to just below lock 28 Stratford Canal
1.75 miles, 13 locks

What a start to the day - we overslept!  Monty woke us at 08:45.  Our first question was 'what happened to the alarm on my phone?'  It usually goes off at 07:30.  When I looked at the phone it said it was 01:43 on Saturday 2nd April! To add to our distress the boat domestic batteries were almost empty. We have no idea what went wrong or why, but the phone is now fine and the batteries also seem to be okay. Gremlins at work in a big way.  

Before we set off 'Down the Hatch' (mentioned in yesterday's blog) came past, so I was able to get a photo.

It was a glorious sunny morning as we left and went through the first bridge.

We won ourselves a VLK (voluntary lock keeper) for the first few locks, which always helps.

We got rid of rubbish at lock 21, Lapworth and then moved across to the sanitary station to fill up with water. A boat came up the lock we would go down and left it ready for us - they were waiting to take our place at the sanitary station, but sadly for us another boat came along just before we were ready to leave, so we lost the lock!  

We weren't in a hurry and still made good time along this pretty canal with it's distinctive barrel roofed cottages.

and spilt bridges (the horse ropes went through the middle).

Always the best way to go near a motorway - straight underneath as fast as possible.

The locks along here are really slow - they aren't even like a "gentleman's wallet" as one boater described the locks at Atherstone - "slow to fill and quick to empty".  These are slow filling and emptying.

This cottage is much more like they were when originally built. When we came along here in the 1980's it was a gift shop and there were two huge Irish Wolfhounds in residence.

We moored below lock 28 just before the heavy rain started.  A delightful spot with mooring rings.

With sheep as neighbours on the towpath side and the view the other side you will see tomorrow!

The surprise at the end of the day - nb Granny Buttons with Waterways World Assistant Editor, Andrew Denny at the helm.  I popped out to work the lock for him - he was in for a long evening as he was hoping to get to Kingwood Junction that evening and it was 19:30 when he arrived at lock 28 with 7 locks and a mile to travel ahead of him.  It was good to see him and even better that he remembered who we were despite only meeting us once before in 2013 when he was visiting JL Pinders where our boat was being built. 

Postscript - those gloves I thought I had left at Wedges turned up - they were hiding at the bottom of a rucksack!

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