As we were moored above the penultimate lock at the bottom of the Hatton flight on Sunday night, Karen was able to walk into work on Monday morning. It’s only just over two miles and quite a pleasant walk through the middle of Warwick.
Monday was a day of topping up the boat’s supplies so, after breakfast, Buddy and I drove to Fen End where there is a coal yard that we hadn’t used before. As there are several stoppages all the way to Calcutt for the next couple of months we are having to fend for ourselves as Mark cannot get along this far in his fuel boat.
Monday morning once the sun came up
The car was loaded with seven bags of coal and two jerry cans containing 20 litres of red diesel each. My plan (stupidly) was to carry the jerry cans and one bag of coal to the boat during the day and unload the rest when we can park next to the boat when we reach Lidl in Leam. It occurred to me, when driving back, that I should park in the CRT car park by the penultimate lock. I could then take the boat into the lock and unload everything. I do wonder if I’m getting slower in my old age 😊
When I got to the car park there weren’t any spaces left alongside the lock, but I managed to get one by the lock landing. So, it was a simple matter of bringing the boat across the cut and mooring up at the lock landing.
Getting ready to unload the car – Buddy didn’t help to be honest
As I was going to be dropping down the lock during the day, I had set it whilst taking Buddy out for his pre-breakfast walk. I didn’t feel guilty as there would be no boat traffic and, even if there was, there was plenty of water coming down the flight, so it wouldn’t be wasted if someone did come up.
Ironically, as I was unloading the car, a boat did start coming up – it was a CRT boat loaded with gear needed to get the lock ready for the closure.
Note the stanking planks hidden under the barriers
The CRT boat was through the lock by the time I had unloaded the car, so I set off down the lock as they had left it set for me.
Moored at the bottom whilst I went back up to close the gates – that ugly bridge is carrying the A46
As I was cruising I noticed that our chives had starting shooting again; the thyme and rosemary are in good condition and have been meeting our needs all year. I must remember to cut the tops of the rosemary so that it develops more offshoots.
The herb box and also one of the primroses Karen planted on Sunday to brighten up the crocuses that are just about to bloom
After a while we came to the junction with the Saltisford arm which I was going down so I could get a pump out and top up with water. We have never managed to moor in the arm as we have only tried in the winter when it is full of boats that people pay to overwinter there. I suppose we should have tried in the summer.
The entrance to the Saltisford arm
The Saltisford arm is only a few hundred yards long now but it used to run further into Warwick, terminating at a wharf by the Antelope pub. When driving along the Birmingham Road into Warwick, look to the right just after going under the railway bridge and you will see an entrance road to an estate of apartments. This road goes over a hump which is the original hump back bridge across the arm. The brick parapets are still intact, so it looks quite strange in a modern setting; it is filled in underneath of course.
I pulled up at the service pontoon and found that the pump out pump was out of action. It was new a week ago and had failed already. There were two engineers out fixing it and by the time I had filled up with water they were ready to try it out. Fortunately, it worked perfectly but it was one of those glitches – they couldn’t find anything wrong and didn’t replace anything ☹ I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve gone for pump outs and the pump is in bits or not working. I used to ring ahead to check with boatyards if their pump was working but gave that up as they could say, “Yes”, but by the time we turned up it would be broken.
On the service pontoon in the Saltisford arm
Once I had paid, I reversed out of the arm and I had hoped to moor practically opposite where there is a short length that is in full sun all day. When I had walked down earlier it was all clear, but a boat had arrived from the opposite direction and had taken the spot whilst I was in the arm. I then decided to continue reversing back down towards the lock I had previously come through. In the end I reversed a few hundred yards before I could find a spot that was away from trees and office buildings and therefore in the sunshine.
Still reversing – the entrance to the arm is in the far distance
After mooring up and having some lunch, Buddy and I went for a walk into Warwick. On the way back, we stopped at Sainsburys to top with food for the week.
The forecast was still predicting heavy frosts and snowfall for the next few days, so at least if there is a freeze we are topped up with water, diesel and coal and have an empty poo tank too!
This morning (Tuesday) there is a light dusting of snow outside but no heavy frost. Hopefully, we will avoid it all here in Warwick.
Finally moored in the sunshine