Saturday, 27 June 2009

The Trip to Warwick.

Well for the last few days there hasn't been enough signal to download anything to the blog so I'll bring you up to date on our latest excitements. After a days rest at Catherine de Barnes we descended Knowle Locks, the first of the Grand Union wide locks with their unique paddle gear which is inclined to be a bit on the heavy side, twenty five turns of the windlass to raise the paddles.

The next point of interest was Kingswood Junction where the Stratford on Avon canal joins the G.U. We moored and had a wander round what is a fairly complex junction. As it was the Stratford I felt duty bound to take a picture of a barrel roofed cottage and a split bridge as these are always described as typical of the Stratford. The split in the bridge was to allow the horses tow line to drop through so there was no need to disconnect the horse when the boat went under the bridge, clever eh?

After a stop at Tom o'the Wood (It's a pub named after a windmill that used to stand nearby) which allowed me to catch this magnificent bream, Jill said it smelled horrible,well it was a bit fishy,

we wandered slowly down to the Hatton Flight a.k.a. the Stairway to Heaven and peered gloomily down at a seemingly endless line of dauntingly large locks

when salvation in the shape of n.b. Betty Eccles turned up, a brand new boat on its first trip, boy did I sweat going down those locks in case I made some horrible mistake and gave their pride and joy a wallop but she came out the bottom just as beautiful as she went in at the top, whew!

We shared the locks and the labour down the twenty two wide locks, passing a huge dragonfly,

a British Waterways yard with their latest transport, I know they're short of money but come on, surely they can afford a Mk.1 Transit,

and some environmentally friendly lock gates and completed the whole flight in two hours and forty minutes.
We are now moored in the Saltisford Arm and tomorrow we intend to start exploring Warwick.