Radford Semele (six months ago we were ice-breaking)

We now need to have a bit of a cruise most days if we want to get to Cropredy by the end of the month.  I wanted to get through the built-up parts of Warwick and Leamington on Monday so set off after breakfast.  Just after casting off it started drizzling and Buddy gave me one of his looks blaming me for the rain.  He’s daft really because he won’t go into the boat on his own accord if we’re not in there.  He was the same when we lived in a house, he wouldn’t stay in the garden on his own unless he could see a door open back into the house.

Just after setting off we were going under a footbridge and I noticed this old guy behaving oddly – he was trying to get his dogs to look at the boat as we went underneath!

We went over the River Avon just before reaching Leam.  This is where there are plans to provide a junction off the canal onto the river if the river is ever made navigable to narrowboats between here and Stratford on Avon.

Crossing the River Avon on the aqueduct

It’s been six months since we last cruised this stretch and I was reminded that back in January we were breaking ice to get to Warwick.  It was one of those occasions where we had to move because we were desperate for a pump out and fortunately the ice wasn’t too thick.

Last time we were breaking ice

We moored up outside Morrissons and I did some supermarket and DIY store shopping and then had some lunch before setting off again.  The weeping willows have been growing like mad this year and I was getting worried that I would have to move some of the plants.  I was lucky and managed to get through them all without mishap but I suspect Karen’s heart will be in her mouth when she reads this ūüėä

How will I get through without damaging the plants?

I only did one lock, Radford Bottom lock, and it was the first wide lock we have gone up since February but Buddy remembered the drill.  It’s a different routine as I get off the boat before it gets in the lock, take a rope, and walk it into the lock.  Buddy gets off and runs up the steps at the side of the lock with me. 

Radford Bottom lock – Blair and Liz live on their boat just below this lock

I like the locks along this stretch as they are placed a good distance apart so you get time to have a rest and take in the sights between the locks.  I believe Mike and Aileen have the reverse feelings and don’t like this section as the locks are too regular.

We really like the ten miles or so between Leam and Napton and know lots of places to moor for a week or so at a time.  This time through though we won’t be stopping more than a night or two at any mooring as we have a bit of a mission.

Moored at Radford – bit grey so picture doesn’t do the location justice

After lunch Buddy and I went for a walk away from the canal and we were both happy to be revisiting old haunts.  It’s quite good for butterflies round here but wasn’t quite warm enough so I saw very few.


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