Saturday, 31 May 2014

New hat; sore knee; and nap time

Wednesday 28th May to Saturday 31st May 2014

We decided to take it a bit easy on Wednesday - just a casual stroll down with Andy and Sue, to the chandlery by Lock 1 - they needed a few things and you can always see something new at any chandlery; Diane also wanted to show me a clock that she was interested in at the Lock Shop.

After all of the purchases, Sue and Diane wandered up into the village - there was a butcher in need of selling them something; Andy and I were left to carry everything back to the boats.

Later on we walked over to The Boathouse to meet Stella and Dave and catch with them. Dave has sold his 70 footer and bought a 57' one to replace it, and Stella is looking to upgrade hers as well.

As we were going to move the following day we wouldn't have a chance to see them from the boat - Stella would be working and Dave is recovering from some injuries after a car accident.

The weather was a contributing factor as to what we did today - it was not a great day and the mizzle continued on and off - which contributed to the late decision by Sue and Andy abandoning their plans to leave and cruise a few miles to a more countryfied location.

Thursday would be a better day and so it was.

We both headed off reasonably early and made it to just after Bridge 101 before mooring up to have a last cuppa together - Andy and Sue would stay the night and we would continue on.

We have had a really great week with them - re-creating some of the good times that we had over winter, this time at Crick. We shall miss them and look forward to when we are together again.
a final cruise together...

...a final cuppa...

...and then fare thee well - until we meet somewhere!

Waving our goodbyes, we headed off and made the right hand turn at Napton Junction, then came Calcutt Locks.

We shared the 2nd and 3rd locks with nb Brigand and then let them head off as we said our goodbyes (again) to Dave who had wandered up from Ventnor Farm marina to pick up a roll of 6" foam that was no longer needed.

We then moved along slowly to the top of the Stockton flight - our only intention being to get near the bottom and have a look at The Blue Lias pub - having not been there before - the other aim to beat the rain as well.

On both accounts we failed.

The rain fell down about 4 locks before the end and whilst we were not soaked it did make it a bit wet; mooring opportunities were less than we thought and we finally stopped just below the bottom lock.

We wandered back to The Blue Lias - it didn't look good with a seeming lack of any activity - we were right - we were there at 5:30 and it didn't reopen until 6pm.
We weren't that desiring of a drink that we were going to wait around for another half hour and besides that the pub didn't look that great (on the outside).
What is this 3pm to 6pm closing thing

the pub was there, but no-one else

A walk back to the boat and a quick drink at The Two Boats - we had built up a bit of a thirst by then, and then a return to Ferndale.

Friday was a better day and we left at a reasonable hour - a hire boat was just coming through the lock as we left - mmm, someone to share the locks with further along - and indeed it panned out that way.

There were 2 willing souls aboard - Clive and son Ben - to help with the locks and with daughter Amy ably handling the boat, we worked through the 10 locks in what seemed virtually no time at all - we all seemed surprised when we had reached the last one.
After this they pulled over for lunch and a rest - they only had a few miles to return their boat on Saturday so they were going to take it easy - any wonder, they had completed the Warwickshire Ring within the week.

Diane wanted to do some grocery shopping at Lidl (in Lemington Spa) which was ideally situated for this - in what now stands as a personal best, she was back in just 15 minutes - didn't even have time to sit down and take it easy.

So we headed off for the last few miles and the final two locks - our destination being Warwick and in particular, The Cape.

Water tank was filled above the last lock; mooring place found and tied up - time to visit a well-known spot for us and the happy Friday pub shot for the viber group.
Friday happy shot

We were not going to do too much on Saturday - just a quick visit into town and a call in at Sainbury's on the way back - there are some things that she cannot buy just anywhere.

A look see at Warwick Castle - way too many kids about, a walk through town and the historic trail; morning tea at the Brethren Kitchen (at the Lord Leycester Hospital); a wander through the markets - purchased a new hat, and then back via the supermarket to the boat.
Warwick castle - as close as we could get...
without paying

keeping the building up

oooh, where did you get that hat?

One of us was particularly tired with a sore left knee, but she valiantly soldiered on for lunch at The Cape of Good Hope pub.

It didn't come as any surprise that we both nodded off whilst watching the French Open in the afternoon - one of us did get up for the Saturday engine check and to write this - the other one? Well, she had another nap.

18 Miles, 25 Locks

Totals: 2518 Miles,  1834 Locks, 81 Tunnels, 32 Lift Bridges, 151 Swing Bridges

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