On Wednesday it was a much drier day and we set off towards the Hatton Flight. Mick/Julia and John were going up the locks breasted up, and David and I were solo.
Well, it is a very long time since I felt so incompetent in charge of the boat. I could not get the hang of the method John was teaching us for making sure Waka Huia stayed on the side of the lock I was entering and exiting from. It took several locks to get it right, and then we got to the lock where the volunteer lock keepers were and the wind came up and it all turned to custard and the method changed - AAARRRGGGHHH!!! It is ages since I have consistently banged into lock gates, but the wind, my stress levels and the gates all conspired and for at least 3 of the locks I hit the offside gate going in. That really p*sses me off as I hate the damage that gets done to rammed gates. And I hate it when I'm the one possibly inflicting it!
By the time we got to the top, things had settled down (ie my stress levels had reduced, I had started feeling competent again, and David stopped looking like a husband in hiding ...)
|The wildflowers are lovely, and the irises on the side of the cut are beautiful.|
|For Rob - this is the hawthorn now the blossom has dropped.|
The moorings at the top of the flight are dark and dismal and under trees, so we had decided to keep going to Rowington. Lovely sunny moorings and a trip to the Tom o' Woods pub. The consensus of the Poms present was that the drinks were too expensive, but it was my round, and I didn't mind. The chardonnay was pretty good and they had a zinfandel for David, so the NZ contingent was happy.
|The drinks may have been expensive, but the insect life was free - Irene, what is it please? It looked to me like it was a Hurricanes supporter getting in early for the game against the Lions...|
|John is bleeding profusely from a self inflicted wound when he pulled off a quick, David is doing his Admiral Nelson impersonation with his new monocular.|
Rowington is a lovely place but the motorway (M40) and the rail are too close - it was noisy all night - well, I assume all night, as I slept through most of it but whenever I woke the noise was ever present.
We left yesterday at sparrow’s f*rt to beat the rain which was scheduled to arrive at about 10am according to 2 weather apps – what did we ever do without apps on phones? I know, we listened to the forecast on the radio and we looked at the sky!
We are on the Stratford Canal now – if you were deaf or wearing noise cancelling headphones, it would be a totally lovely rural experience. However the first few miles and locks are marred by the rail and the M40 whining and/or roaring close by.
However when I started typing this we were at Lock 29 and the noise had receded. We were approaching Lowsonford and the naval strategy meeting in one lock’s time to discuss the next steps.
David wanted to watch James Comey’s testimony yesterday arvo, so the most important aspects of the mooring spot were internet access and TV signal.
The rain arrived on schedule after we had decided we would carry on regardless. As David was the main one who had said that, I was merciless and would not pull over to wait it out until it stopped. After all, David was busy and active and stayed quite warm, I was the one standing still on the counter getting wetter and colder by the minute - and I had my Kathmandhu merino top on, plus a T-shirt, a camisole, and a fleecy, under my Kathmandhu rain jacket. But did I complain? Did I heck - every chance I got ...
Nah, if I had done that, David would have insisted we stop, and I didn't want to warm up just to get cold again.
The rain cleared and, just in time, we moored up at Wootton Waven. I cooked for our election night party (see previous post), David watched James Comey's testimony - how come that idiot Trump now tweets he is totally vindicated? Where is his brain/sensibility/conscience/morality/intelligence/head? Oh, I forgot, I know the answer to all of those questions - they are all up his a*se ...
Anyway, forget him. Dinner (see previous post) was yummy. Mick, Julia and John were going to go to the Navigation Inn across the cut before dinner, but it was closed until 6pm, so our dinette became the bar. And it was BYO too - much cheaper!
Today we have made our way to Wilmcote - lovely sunny moorings, convenient for the village, a couple of pubs and the station.
- Mick and Julia are leaving here earlier than sparrow's f*rt tomorrow (Big Neil would say it'll be the middle of the night) to get down to Stratford (17 locks away) and do laundry and check out the moorings,
- John's girlfriend is arriving tonight and they are going to Stratford tomorrow,
- our friend Dana arrives tomorrow by train and we will stay overnight and go to Stratford on Sunday - same 17 locks just a day later. Dana is young, so we need to put her to work, eh?
It's a fasting day for David and me today;
- it is now 6.10pm,
- dinner is ready and
- David is off chatting to Julia working out how calorific my muesli is -
- he has taken a helping of the muesli, the scales and his sense of self righteousness.