Stratford upon Avon to Bidford upon Avon : 9 miles, 6 locks
To date : 719 miles, 470 locks
One year ago today we left home to fly to the other side of the world and live on a narrowboat!
We're always happy to be on the move again after a few days in the same place. We were up early this morning. There were several boats on the move so we waited for the movement to stop before preparing the lock. We said farewell to John and Angela on nb Coromandel... with promises to keep in touch. So here's two Crowns :
It was exciting to be out the lock and onto the river although we had a brief stop just around the corner to fill our water tanks. It's very picturesque.
We had 6 locks today. The locks on the river are large and the gates requiring a bit of effort to open. I did like the paddles on these locks. They required plenty of winding but it wasn't all that hard. Barry did most of their share of the lock work today to spare Carol the risk of straining herself too soon.
At one lock a pair of swans rushed to get inside the lock before we closed the gates. As we opened the paddles to fill the lock one of them in particular was really enjoying riding the waves. They must make sport of the locks because no sooner had the lock reached full and they were right at the V of the gates waiting for them to open.
Every lock was against us but with only 6 to do and them being well spaced it was no effort at all. We copped a mouthful from a fellow on a boat obviously following along behind us and at one lock we dallied to work out where the next Elsan would be so he caught us up. Goodness, he gave us a mouthful about leaving the bottom gates open when we left the locks. We pointed out that the signs said we should do so but he obviously felt the rules should be different for him. Luckily we stopped for lunch so he overtook us. We noted that he left the gates open himself!
The paddles in the top gates are above water level when the locks are empty and some of the locks gushed water out with amazing force. I'm glad we're heading downstream. The emptying of the locks was quite gentle.
In the afternoon the wind was picking up so we were glad to moor up. We breasted up and shared a mooring. Mick go chatting to the fellow on the boat in front of us who had his engine roaring. He'd hired the boat and there was a problem with the electrics. We had a rather annoying hour or so with smelly fumes pumping into the boat when he mentioned to Mick that they'd be using a generator from dinner time onwards and wouldn't be going to bed until 10.30pm at earliest. Mick asked if he'd change places with us as he'd then be at the end of the row and could put his noisy generator right at the end of the mooring. The fellow wasn't happy but he had to see the logic in that.
We've had several disturbed evenings or nights lately with boats running their engines much later than they should, or on one occasion they started it up at 9.30pm right beside our bedroom. Barry and Carol had one running their engine at midnight. When the boat in front of us started his up last night it was just the last straw for Mick so he went out to ask what the story was. This fellow had also hired the boat he was on and been told to "run the engine for an hour or two before you go to bed"! Well that's just lovely for everyone moored around you. He did concede it was a bit unfair and turned it off again.
It was a lovely days cruising... for us anyway... Barry was having an "off" day and was grumpy (I'm sure the swearing boater and the running engines didn't help). What pretty scenery along the Avon. It will be an enjoyable week or so.