Sunday, 8 October 2017

Hatton top lock (a leisurely day: 21 locks in the morning and then just lazing around)

Waiting in the lock whilst a widebeam sorts itself out

Our Friday night mooring at Cape of Good Hope, Warwick

When I took Buddy out for his first walk on Saturday morning we went via a local newsagents; we try and buy a newspaper every Saturday.  When I got back to the boat I remembered one of the reasons we don’t really like mooring at Cape:

Only been here a few hours and roof getting covered with leaves already

Mike and Lesley were joining us for the day to help us lock up the Hatton flight.  They parked at the the pub at the top and walked down to meet us.  We were on the fifth lock when they arrived and we soon got into a good routine.  We have done a few flights together now and they really enjoy helping us out.

Approaching the fifth lock of the day

We passed a couple of boats near the bottom of the flight and didn’t see another until near the top and that was a widebeam coming down.  They either didn’t look ahead or they didn’t care as they turned a lock in front of us.  We soon realised that they were probably new boaters as they got into a bit of difficulty when we tried to pass each other between locks.  They ended up across the pound and I reversed back into the lock whilst they sorted themselves out.  They obviously knew they had turned the lock as none of them would catch our eyes.  Good old Mike couldn't resist pointing out to one of the guys that they really should look ahead before setting locks.

Mike received an email during the cruise and was clearly excited.  It was from their boat builders who had sent pictures of the base plate and sides that had just been cut out.  Lesley realised that Mike was excited so ran up to him to see what it was but he pretended he had lost the email.

Lesley pleading for Mike to find the pictures

We took it easy so it took us just over three hours to go up the 21 locks.  We had a good laugh as usual and caught up with everyone’s news.  Near the top, where the public car parks are, it was busy with gongoozlers.  It’s a great way for families to get outside by walking up and down the locks doing a bit of spectating, especially as there’s a café at the top as well as a pub.

Leaving the penultimate lock with the café on the right

Buddy watching me come into the last lock

Lesley celebrating after closing the final lock gates

We moored on the straight above the top lock and went inside for lunch.  Karen had made a delicious spicy, sweet potato and lentil soup which we had with fresh bread and cheese.  After lunch we popped into the pub for a quick drink before saying goodbye to our friends.

We spent the rest of the day indoors as it started to rain and I cooked a chicken jalfrezi.

Sunday morning on our overnight mooring at the top of the Hatton flight

We'll move on a little way on Sunday to be more out in the open and somewhere that has easier car parking. 

Before I sign off for the day here's a picture we took for Karen's mum.  It's The Parade (main drag) in Leamington with all the county bowls club flags - it must be time for the national bowling championships again already.

Some of the county flags

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