Monday, 14 April 2014

Hopwas Wood to the bottom of Atherstone.

'twas proper breezy this morning as we set off, had trouble getting away from the side as the wind seemed determined to keep us pinned.

We seem to be passing more swans nests than usual, this pair were busily collecting more weed to bolster the ramparts. So preoccupied were they that they neglected to give us the usual warning hiss.

At Fazeley Junction someone had been busy decorating a factory wall, sorry about the quality but the sun was shining right down the lens. A little further along, coming down the towpath.

The two young ladies were supplying the motive power as the young chap in the carriage waved regally to us as we passed. Alright for some.

By the Samuel Barlow at Alvecote there were plenty of working boats to be seen,

as there were a little further on at Grendon Dock. F.M.C. Tench and South Midland motor Kangaroo and butty Australia, in the foreground in the dry dock.
We decided to stop in the pound above the second lock in the Atherstone flight, now I know that the locks here are notoriously slow to fill but there are limits.

The second lock only had one top paddle working, it took nearly a quarter of an hour to fill, plenty of time for putting the world to rights. We also had a philosophical discussion on what the collective noun for boaters might be, suggestions included a gossip? a whinge? or, on occasion, a stupidity? The latter reserved for that time when, after years of boating experience, you suddenly realise you're pushing the wrong side of the beam.

We had just finished for the day when we were delighted to see yet another working boat, Cowburn and Cowper's Swan, looking immaculate and her Gardner 4VT sounding delightful. Built in the days when machinery still had a soul.
We thought that was it for the day but as we settled down for the evening there was a flutter of black wings and this chap landed on the fore deck

After peering at us for a while and obviously deciding we were relatively harmless he proceeded to clear all the nooks and crannies on the front of the cratch, long the abode of a host of spiders.

He kept one beady eye on us though, just in case.
Off up the flight tomorrow.

Watch this space.......

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