Warwick (Finding a bank and a mention of stanking planks)

In case you were wondering, we negotiated the lock gates without mishap on our way back from the pub last night.  The Cape of Good Hope turns out to be a good pub and will go on our list of pubs worth going to.  They do a good range of real ales and the food looked interesting although we ate at home because I had already prepared dinner.  Whenever we have been to this pub before we have sat outside and been served through a window overlooking the canal so have never ventured inside.

Karen obviously negotiated the lock on her way to work on Thursday morning as the car wasn’t in the pub car park when Buddy and walked into Warwick.  I needed to find a bank to pay in some cheques that have been accumulating.  Warwick looks very interesting and we will no doubt spend some time exploring; however, Thursday is housework day, so we were soon home again.

After lunch we walked up the Hatton flight again and when we got to the top the skies opened and we took shelter in a gongoozlers’ café next to the top and 21st lock.

Buddy seems to be thinking that if I have a (poor) cappuccino then he deserves a biscuit at the very least

I say poor cappuccino because the liquid under the milk froth should be a rich dark espresso not milky coffee as you can see above.  I don’t and can’t drink milk but for some reason can drink it when frothed up for cappuccinos.  It’s also incongruous that I adore cream on my cakes and desserts.

When the sun came out it reminded me that I had seen a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly fly over the boat when I cruised through Leamington on Tuesday - not bad for 15th November!

On our way back down the locks we had a look at the dry dock alongside the fourth lock down.  It works just like a lock.  The boat goes into the dock then stanking planks (first mention for weeks!) are used to shut the lock rather than lock gates.  The water is drained through a gate paddle, like a lock, into the pound below.

Ground paddle winding gear can be seen to the left of the dry dock.  Boat is resting on wooden timbers.  Stanking planks in place of a lock gate are at the rear.

This type of dry dock is simpler than those where a pump is needed to pump water out and then keep on pumping to keep them dry.

The next six locks after the dry dock are in a straight line and remind me of the 16 locks in a straight line on the 29 lock Caen Hill flight on the Kennet and Avon canal at Devizes in Wiltshire.

I love seeing locks close together and in a line like these on the Hatton flight

We spent a few years on the Kennet and Avon when we bought our first boat and never tired of doing the Caen Hill flight.  We always looked forward to it and enjoyed it whether on our own or locking with others.

Here we have just descended the 16 locks in the middle section of the Caen Hill flight.  The bunting, which Karen made out of old shirts and blouses, was to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee.

At the bottom of the Hatton flight, before we got back to our boat, we walked past the entrance to the Saltisford arm.

The entrance to the Saltisford arm

I had visited the arm by a different route yesterday to find out if they had any spare moorings for a few days but they were full.  If I had gone in by boat I would have noticed the welcome sign had something on it.

Handwritten sign on the welcome sign saying they are full up so no visitor moorings available

We just got home when it started pouring again.  As it was, we were a lot luckier with the rain today and avoided getting too wet.

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