Thursday, 30 March 2017

Edstone (all that for water)



Buddy hasn’t adjusted to the clock change yet and why should he as he doesn’t understand.  He is still sound asleep at nine in the morning so I have to wake him up to get him out.  He doesn’t hassle me for his dinner at five in the evening either.  I wonder how long this will last?

There are 45 steps leading up from the road to where we are moored by the aqueduct.  There is a convenient dog waste bin at the bottom but Buddy doesn’t bother following me down when go.  He just sits at the top thinking what a waste of time and energy going down and up those steps.

Buddy waiting for my return

He also knows that’s where Karen parks the car and as he hates car journeys he finds any excuse to keep away from the car.

A duck is nesting in the hedge by the towpath near our boat.  This really is a silly place to build a nest as a dog will get the duck and/or her chicks one day.  I have to keep Buddy on his lead as we walk past as he is very alert and wants to get in there.  Natural selection must favour the ducks that build nests on the side opposite the towpath.

Wednesday was the day that I decided to get water so I set off to find the first winding hole so I could turn round and head for Wootton Wawen where there is a water point.

Starting to wind at the winding hole just before Wilmcote

After turning I went back past where we are currently moored and headed over the aqueduct which is actually the longest aqueduct in England.  There is only room for one boat to moor where we are and I left early to get the best chance of the spot being free when we returned.  If people are out cruising they tend to keep going all day and moor up in the evening.  Mind you, if the spot had been taken then I knew there were spaces on the other side of the aqueduct.

When canals run by railway lines or main roads boaters often get tooted and waved at by passing train or lorry drivers.  Here is no exception – going over the aqueduct a train went underneath at just the right time.  The driver and I waved at each other and he tooted.

As I approached Wootton Wawen I passed the marina that is being built there.  Unlike last week when Karen and I cruised down together there were several people busily at work.  Karen had been concerned that there was no one working on the site on a weekday so she will be happy when I tell her all is OK.

Just before Wootton Wawen is a group of trees by the canal that have been dead for years and are slowly breaking up.  They look almost alien and would be worthy of a skilled time lapse photographer.  I think this every time we have passed them over the years.

Clearly I am no skilled photographer, time lapse or otherwise

Ironically, as there has been so little boat movement, there was a boat at the service point when I arrived.  The service point is at the boat yard by a smaller road aqueduct and boats have to moor in the trough to get services.  I had to wait until the boat moved off before I could get water.

Bright blue boat on the service point

After filling up I had to carry on to the next winding hole before winding and getting back to our mooring spot which, as expected, was free.  By the way, for those non-boaters amongst you, the wind in ‘to wind a boat’ or ‘winding hole’ is pronounced like the wind in winding a baby.  For some reason though, Karen calls them windy holes as in windy (bendy not windy) mountain roads.

So we travelled almost five miles across four aqueducts, under seven bridges, through two locks and winded twice just to get water.   

We are nearly ½ mile from the nearest lock but we can feel when it is being emptied as the boat rocks slightly.  I think that we can feel it so far away because of the aqueduct which is quite a narrow channel and therefore the effect of the extra water coming into the pound is dissipated over a longer distance.  Being on water, where sound travels very well, we can actually hear people when they are operating the lock when we have the side hatches open.  I think four boats have come down in the week we have been here and I have felt and heard them all at the lock.  All four have come back too; they seem to spend a night at Wilmcote, no doubt with a trip to the Mary Arden Inn or the Masons Arms, before returning to continue their holiday.  Remember, they have to come back as the locks are still closed between Wilmcote and Stratford.


The lock in the far distance beyond the aqueduct – we can always tell if someone is coming down


For the record, Wednesday was another day of changeable weather and Buddy and I got soaked on our afternoon walk.




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