Friday 14th July; north of Wilmcote to Lowsonford
Well, we woke on a bit of a slant, just enough to need extra effort for rolling out of bed. This was not entirely unexpected, given the problems with water levels yesterday, but you can see from the picture that it was very slight. We left the mooring lines a bit loose last night, just in case, and they were still loose enough to untie easily this morning.
Two boats went by, slowly, while we were having breakfast, then we set off, slowly. We only needed a slight push to get into the deeper water, but the bottom was pretty near the top so we cruised very sedately to the Edstone aqueduct. We could see the boat that passed us a good 15 minutes earlier still on the aqueduct, and a boat waiting, so we stopped and had quite a wait for our turn. We too took much longer than usual to get across, and when we reached Bearley lock we found the reason for the low water level.
The water level was fine above the lock. Between the lock and Wootton Wawen, a new marina is under construction.
There was yet another hold-up at Wootton Wawen; the boat in front was stationary on the little aqueduct. After a while Dave put the bow in so I could find out what was going on. A liveaboard was taking on water from the very inconveniently placed water-point;
if you are travelling south, you can pull in (just) alongside the boats at the wharf, but if you are going north even a long hose probably wouldn’t reach as the tap is on the aqueduct. (For non-boaty readers – water tanks, and therefore the filler cap, tend to be at the bow or at least near the front). You can see the tap and white supply pipe on the fence and the aqueduct is on the right.
We were only held up for 10 minutes but the poor hirers in front only wanted to get to the visitor moorings 50 yards away as they were finishing their holiday the next day.
Dave crosses the aqueduct
I think if we had been that desperate for water we would have moved to let following boats pass, and then gone back to the water point. The boat that caused the hold-up was in no hurry – they moored within a couple of hundred yards so could easily have done so.
I am still unable to walk comfortably or work the locks, so I had another day of struggling with bywashes. At Preston Bagot I took a selfie in the mirrored windows as I came out of the lock.
I brought Chuffed into the next lock faultlessly (no bywash), sadly unremarked by the long crocodile of teenagers on the crossover bridge and straggling along the towpath in both directions. I bet the teachers had fun moving them on at the mirrored windows!
Meg was enjoying the extra walkies between locks with her Dad. She is recovering well from her sore tummy.
I had a couple of tries at an arty shot through the pretty split bridges. This I think is the view from Bucket lock as the lock was filling.
There was plenty of room to moor at Lowsonford, where we tied up opposite the pub garden….
where later we enjoyed a beer before having the delicious and tender pork steaks I bought from Barry the Butcher in Stratford. (How did I end up with this odd pattern of froth on my glass when Dave didn’t?)
Oh yes, that lettuce envy. The delightful lady from the boat behind us was most impressed by my salad tub. (Now we’re back at home it’s looking rather bedraggled in the pouring rain and howling wind).
6 miles, 9 locks, 3 aqueducts (Edstone, Wootton Wawen and Yarningale)