Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Lapworth Link (can’t keep away from Lapworth)


Frosty but sunny this morning - a complete change from yesterday


People new to narrowboating or planning a holiday on a narrowboat often go onto forums to ask for advice.  Of course, as is often the case with that approach, everyone knows best so there is always plenty of advice given and much of it contradictory.  I would always advocate not over-scheduling by trying to do too much every day.  If you do that then not only does it add stress to what is meant to be a stress-free life, it makes you beholden to the weather – you end up having to cruise in conditions that are not ideal.

I know weather forecasting is not always accurate, but nowadays, the daily local forecasts tend to be pretty good.  On Monday, I checked the weather for Lapworth and it was due to pour hard from nine o’clock until mid-afternoon, when the sun was due to come out.  For some reason I ignored that, and Buddy and I set out for Lapworth just before nine.  We had been moored just down from the water point, opposite the pub, so I pulled up for water first.  In the picture below, the pub is behind the greenhouse – the house by the bridge has been slowly renovated over the years and is now complete.  We assume it’s a second home as we have never seen anyone there and the car in the drive is always in the same spot.

Just starting to rain whilst taking on water

As I cast off again, the skies opened so I quickly put on the wet weather gear.  It was such a mild morning that, fortunately, it didn’t feel cold, so once I accepted it was going to be a wet journey, it was quite fun in a perverse sort of way. It wasn’t long before we came up to the junction with the Stratford canal.

Getting ready to turn left down the Lapworth link - still pouring


Heading into the link

I was hoping there was no one moored in the link, other than the private moorers on the right-hand side.  As luck would have it, there was no one moored on the towpath side so headed down the link and into the basin where the North and South Stratford canals join.  Once in the basin I did a perfect 180 degree turn and headed back into the link to moor up; I would then be facing the right way to get down towards Hatton during the rest of the week.  I’m not bragging when I said it was perfect – with the wind and the rain there was no one around so no one to see it happen – when people are watching then nothing goes perfectly.  That’s one advantage of the pouring rain I said to myself.

You may wonder why we have come back to Lapworth again as it is the opposite direction to where we want to go next (into Warwick and Leamington).  We had cruised to the pub on Sunday and, to do that, had had to turn around meaning we would have to turn again before carrying on our way.  By the nature of narrow canals and long narrowboats, it is normally not possible to turn the boat other than at junctions and at specially built winding holes.  Lapworth was the next place where we could turn, hence the detour.

Moored in the link - the basin is through the narrow gap under the black and white bridge

Whilst having lunch the rain stopped, and it wasn’t long before the sun was out 😊.

Evening sun, no rain, when coming back from our late afternoon walk

I’m in two minds about when to move back to Hatton.  We have to be down the flight by Sunday evening as some of the locks are closing on Monday morning for six weeks.  Looking at the forecast, it is due to get colder so really I should get down to the top of the flight sooner rather than later in case the cut starts freezing over again.  It doesn’t look like it’ll get cold enough for ice to stop us going down the flight itself – with the water flow, it needs to be very cold for a long time before lock flights are frozen enough to damage the blacking on the boat.

At the moment I think I’ll probably have a little cruise later today – let’s see what I feel like after running a few errands in the village first.


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