For the first time ever on the boat, I was sea sick one day last week and then again a few days later! Bucket at the ready - better to be safe than sorry, but thankfully it wasn't used! We were rocking about like a cork in the ocean ….and then of course, the rain, rain, rain. However we are quite safe and sound and the only issue we encountered was having to move a couple of boats length on the main canal by Saltisford Arm in Warwick. Got up last Sunday morning to find the towpath underwater - poor old Foxxie wouldn’t jump off - canal one side and no see-able towpath the other! We could see the towpath further up so we just pulled Jandai along - Foxxie’s relief was quite noticeable.
I got quite excited last Friday - “proper” supermarkets right by the canal between Leamington Spa and Warwick. We haven’t seen one of these for 43 days when we were in Loughborough. Major stockup; first at Lidl and then at Tesco. Of course we will trundle down towpaths with our Grannie Trolleys but there is a limit as to just how far you can do this! Couple of miles is about ok but dragging full trolleys any more than that is a test of strength and stamina I really can do without. So since Loughborough we have just been buying the absolute essentials (like milk, eggs, fresh veg and meat) from little village stores. However, now the stock cupboards are full again - yes!
Had a walk around Warwick town centre - it’s a lot smaller than I remembered from when we were here 2+ years ago. Of course it’s famous for its Castle but, honestly, the shopping is a bit limited. Apparently everyone goes to Leamington Spa for real retail therapy but all boaters we talked to and CarT men and a policeman advised not to moor there. It’s ok in the summer when there’s safety in numbers but not to be done in the winter months.
After a walk so far up Hatton Locks, Dai spotted a load of very recently felled trees right by the towpath - so guess what? Yes, we moved up 3 locks and he was able to spend 2 happy days sawing and stacking. It broke his heart when the roof was full to over-flowing and there was just no point in sawing anymore. It must be the first time we have ever left behind a bounty of wood!!
Today we have come up the remaining 18 locks of Hatton Flight and are moored between bridges 57 and 58 close to Shrewley Tunnel in open countryside. Another boat happened to come by just as were up-ing pins ready to rock and roll. It makes it so much easier to do these double locks - still with those blasted candlestick paddles! - with two boats. You find you soon get a system going with two steerers and two doing the locks that you lose count of the number of locks ---- but glad to be in the last one! Took us 3 hours which is pretty good going as all but 2 locks were set against us.
Then, once moored and relaxing inside, disaster struck! Dai was mending the fire and then suddenly, I heard a lot of blaspheming (wot, from Dai?…. Surely not!!). Somehow the glass door on the fire shattered. Temperature outside plummeting as we are forecast below freezing tonight and we have to let the fire go out. Thank god (well, thanks really to Ian and Irene off NB Freespirit blogging about their fire glass shattering) we had a spare since Braunston (remember me ranting about “gold plated cardboard” a few weeks back?). After a hour or two, Dai managed to lift the door off its hinges and put it outside to cool down quicker, which it did, but then one of the fixing bolts seared off!
To cut a long story short, Dai did manage to wrangle it so the glass went in and, in fact, the door back on the fire before it went out completely! So now, we need to source a new door but at least it will do its job until then (fingers crossed!!).
Going to stay put for a week or so now (got plenty of wood, coal, full water tank and 3 empty loo cassettes). Will see what the village of Shrewley has to offer in the way of fresh veg and meat, but if nothing, Hatton train station is only a bridge or 2 away so I can get into Warwick if necessary - Happy Days!!
Do hope that anyone reading this who has had (or having) flood problems, that you are OK now ---- no more rain forecast for immediate future, just freezing temperatures!
Since last blog we have done … 8 miles and 23 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 2065 miles and 1701 locks
|this was towpath side|
as Foxxie couldn't see the towpath
(and probably remembering the time she jumped into the
canal from the wrong side)
she wouldn't jump off for her early morning ablutions
|pound between Hatton Locks 33 and 34 empty|
quite a mystery as therewas more water than the sea
cascading over the bywash.
We discovered the next day that CART men had drained it as
the house right by the lock was in danger of being flooded
|CART are doing a lot of tree felling on Hatton Flight.|
They know that if they just leave them, they won't be
there very long. We boaters are very happy to shift them!
|a nice towpath walker informed us that they were ash willow|