Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Hatton station (just a mini cruise in the rain)

Going into the towpath tunnel at Shrewley

Our mooring spot above Hatton top lock was a bit gloomy and not just because of the weather; it was in a cutting lined by high trees.  So on Tuesday morning I decided to move on.

First Buddy and I walked along the towpath towards Hatton station.  I had checked it out on Monday and it seemed a good place to stop as Karen could park the car easily and I could moor near the bridge.  When we arrived it was as I expected, the spot I wanted was free, and no boat had crept in and taken it.

We got back home and made ready to leave but I decided to reverse all the way back to the top lock to take on water first.  Reversing is something I tend to avoid as narrowboats are not built for going backwards.  Karen and I were chatting about reversing at the weekend and neither of us could remember what Buddy does when we go backwards.  In normal forward motion he sits on the back deck at one side or the other, pokes his head round and looks down the boat in the direction of travel.  For some reason it took ages to reverse this time but it didn’t matter as there were no boats around.  I did notice that Buddy sat on the back deck facing backwards so he clearly likes to see in the direction of travel.

Filling up at Hatton top lock

Whilst filling up I noticed work was going on at the second lock down which was a bit strange as I hadn’t received an email from CRT saying the lock was going to be closed.  One of the workers came up to check on me as they thought I was waiting to come down.  She soon realised I was facing the wrong way so wasn’t worried but we had a quick chat.

We have already noticed an advantage of being above the Hatton flight – there are far fewer boats on the move – we have only seen one since Saturday afternoon.  I imagine it’s because all the big marinas are back down Braunston and Napton way and boats from there only venture out for a day or two in the winter if at all.  They won’t attempt all the locks unless going on a holiday or cruising for the season.  There are no significant marinas for many miles now until you get north of Birmingham or down towards the Severn and Droitwich.

After taking on water we took a slow cruise to Hatton station and moored up.

View from our new mooring at the station

I hadn’t mentioned that it had been raining all morning but as rain was forecast for most of the week I thought I would move the boat anyway.  It stopped raining whilst having lunch so Buddy and I went for a walk in the afternoon.

I came across my first stanking planks for a while.  There aren’t many on the Grand Union and the stores all seem to be open to the weather and in a sorry state.  Here is my page on stanking planks of different canals.

Stanking plank store at Shrewley

Walking back home we went through Shrewley towpath tunnel (top of page) and I think this photo just about shows that it rises steeply inside which, with no lighting makes it quite unnerving to walk through.  Buddy must have better vision as he never minds being in the dark.

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