Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Hatton Station (too hot for Buddy again)



As we want to go down the Hatton flight after Karen comes home from work on Thursday, Buddy and moved a little closer to the top of the fight by having a mini cruise to Hatton station on Tuesday.  No locks for a change but one tunnel.

I forgot how wet Shrewley tunnel is, even in this dry weather the water was gushing through the roof in places.  Fortunately, I avoided most of the water but the boat and I were still pretty wet when we came out.  I know I always put a picture of Shrewley tunnel in the blog when we go through but the offset horse tunnel still fascinates me.

Shrewley tunnel with its separate tunnel for horses and workmen painting the railings (actually one was a workgirl)

This section of the Grand Union – between the locks at Knowle and Hatton varies between being in deep cuttings or on high embankments which makes for a pleasant and varied journey.  The cuttings are always welcome when the sun is beating down.

Cutting coming into Rowington


Rowington embankment

Mooring at Hatton station was easy when we were last here in January as there was only one other ccer there.  When we arrived on Tuesday there were two boats moored so I went to get in behind the furthest one.  It wasn’t possible as the sides were too shallow.  It seemed that the only place to moor near the station was where the two boats were.  I kept trying for a few hundred yards and eventually found a spot where I could get the boat in to the bank.  As it happened it was actually a much better spot – more open and away from the houses by the station.

Moored in the sun at Hatton station with a shady spot for the dog

Although we walked a bit during the day, Buddy wasn’t really bothered and much preferred laying outside the boat.  Most of his time was spent in the shade of the trees whilst I sat outside and read.  

It was a good spot to moor as there were plenty of butterflies around including lots of freshly emerged Gatekeepers.  I have noticed a lot of Red Admirals around at the moment too, so maybe their next brood, which emerges when the fruit is on the ground, will be really plentiful.  Red Admirals in the late autumn sun, getting tipsy on rotten fruit, always remind me that winter is nearly here but also that summer hasn’t quite gone!  Just sitting outside the boat I also saw some Green Veined Whites, Large Whites, Small Whites, Large and Small Skippers, Commas, Small Tortoiseshells, Speckled Woods, Meadow Browns and some tatty Ringlets.

A family of buzzards spent a lot of the afternoon soaring and mewing above the boat and a couple of kingfishers flew past as well.  Now we are back on the Warwickshire section of the Grand Union I would expect to see kingfishers every day now.  When it’s hot Buddy still insists on laying on the dustiest bit of the towpath so walkers and cyclists have to go around him.  I feel it’s fair as he obviously finds it cooler and the towpath is plenty wide enough to get past him.  Of course, if the path is too narrow then I don’t let him do it and make him lay elsewhere.

Dead to the world – if it wasn’t hot I would have had to stop him pestering the children

In the evening Karen and I went to Stratford to play bridge.  I think we will stay put on Wednesday and maybe take the train to Warwick to have a look around.  Even though it’s only three miles or so away it wouldn’t be fair on the dog to walk as the forecast says it’s meant to be even hotter.


Signpost where we were moored on Monday night – ensured we were going the right way towards Warwick 😉
Peaceful mooring for Tuesday night


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