Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Warwick. And that means the Hatton flight!

It was a tad chilly today, although it did remain dry.  The sun did peek out, but the breeze kept the temperature down.  We did not hurry leaving our overnight mooring.  And this was despite the noise from the rail line!  When we moored we were aware of the line, which seemed to be local traffic only. Late evening, the freight movement started and went on, and on...... Still, slept well despite this.

We chugged towards the top of Hatton and as we passed a boat preparing to cast off, we were hailed and asked if we minded sharing with them down the flight.  Of course we did not, so told them we would be ready as soon as we had used the services.

As we watered up an ex working trust boat was just exiting the top lock, manned by several volunteers sporting life jackets.  The steerer shouted he had a prop foul whilst the stern of the boat was still in the lock.  Did anyone get off the boat, or use a pole?  Of course not!  With much prop thrashing the bow rapidly approaching us, quite intimidating due to its height.  I mounted our bow and managed to fend it off whilst Ali went to catch a rope from them and guide them to the bank.  Our travelling companion, N.B. Mars managed to enter the lock and we followed.  Not the best of starts, but it did get better.

Two volunteer lock keepers asked if they could assist us down and we gladly accepted their offer. This meant that between us we could work each lock whilst the others got the next ready.  All the locks were either in our favour, or nearly so and with the assistance of the volunteer's, for a good way down the flight, we set a cracking pace with a smooth system.  We started at 10 am and were down the 21 by 1220, so really good going for these broad locks.  At the bottom we waived goodbye to NB Mars, who were heading into the Saltesford arm and continued alone down the two Cape locks.

We really did need fuel.  Initially we had hoped to stop at the Kate Boat base, but they were moored three deep there.  Just past this however we spied the working boat N.B. Callisto making a delivery, and arranged to meet him near Tesco's.  We found a mooring and in a short time, Callisto appeared and we refuelled whilst Ali nipped for a little shopping.

A quick bite to eat and we resumed through Royal Leamington Spa.  I do not know why, but this place does not really endear itself.  Apart from the fact that many years ago I got bricked from one of the bridges here, it just does not have an inviting feel, despite numerous moorings.  So we chugged through and by late afternoon we were in the countryside once more and found a nice mooring with the church at Radford Semele on the near horizon. 

Enough locks for one day and time for a rest!

Miles  9
Locks  23 big un's.....

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