Monday 25th June; Clifton to just short of Braunston
The downside of having the shade in the evening is the likelihood of having none in the morning! Normally that’s what we like but it’s getting too hot too quickly now. The golf course behind the hedge was busy wasting water – why not water earlier or even the night before, as half of this will be lost to evaporation? As I write, the first hose-pipe ban has been announced (Friday evening). My lawn is brown now, but it will grow again as soon as it rains – can’t golfers putt on a brown instead of a green for a while?
There is the ghost of a rainbow in the spraydrift.
Our dilemma was, as the starboard side was nice and cool, should we stay so Dave could touch up the coach lines, or should we aim to get past Hillmorton locks and find some more shade? Boats had been passing on their way from Hillmorton, and hardly any were heading the same way as us, so maybe there wouldn’t be a queue for the locks. We went.
The water points were occupied and a boat was about to leave one of the bottom locks, so as we don’t need to fill up at the moment we went in. There is a little patch of grass and wild flowers between the two bottom locks. Boats were waiting, above and below, so I had no time to get the book out and identify this lovely orchid.
There was only one lockie, and he stayed at the bottom lock, but with boats coming down all the time we were quickly up, with just one short wait; the boat waiting to take our lock thought he had positioned himself perfectly, but failed to take into account the fact we had to get out first! He was not pleased at having to manoeuvre to let us by.
It was very hot so we enjoyed the shady patches of canal as we passed the Barby moorings. Of course, that is where we met most boats. Here is Nuneaton with butty Brighton.
An alpaca is living at the new(ish) Barby marina moorings, but wasn’t in the mood to pose.
We continued to meet historic boats on their way from Braunston. Here is Tardebigge, who spotted us coming round the bend before we saw him, luckily for us.
Dunchurch Pools marina looks to have a lot of space still – is it still under construction? There didn’t seem to be any electric hook-up pillars on the pontoons through the bridge.
Hay was being baled into swiss rolls but we missed a good view of one being disgorged from the baler. I do hope the driver’s cab had air-con. The tractor was going at quite a lick as it scooped up the grass.
We didn’t want to get all the way to Braunston today, as it’s likely to be busy still, and Dave thought he remembered a good shady mooring about a mile out. Perfect!
We had plenty of shade for some more painting jobs, and it was just cool enough for me to make flapjack and prepare our tea without getting myself baked in the process.
Plenty of boats were on the move during the afternoon, including several more historic boats.
Cepheus and Callisto. We had seen Cassiopeia earlier but didn’t get a photo.
A little family came prospecting for tit-bits while I was relaxing in the shade with some cake. They didn’t get anything.
It was still very hot after 6 when Corona went by towing Alsager.
Dave took Meg for a walk towards Braunston later on. We had been joined by just one more shade-seeker, but a few hundred yards further on was a busy stretch in full scorching sun. The cattle opposite us didn’t seem to mind the heat.
7 miles, 3 locks