Monday, 30 May 2011


No pictures today, as we woke to a steady drenching drizzle that stayed with us from the aqueduct at Long Itchington to Ventnor Farm.  NB Enigma shared the Stockton flight with us.  At least. one benefit of the steady rainfall was that it makes it really easy to see which direction the wind is blowing from while trying to moor.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Butterfly collecting in Leamington

Well, it looked like collecting insects over the reed beds, although it isn't a common sight on the canals.  In any event the jogger seemed to take fright and disappear up onto the road.  Another windy day with lots of boats moving early, but a very quiet afternoon.  We moored tonight on the aqueduct at Long Itchington, also much quiter than usual with lots of spaces available, but the pound looks about a foot down, for some reason.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

To Radford

It took two tries to get out of the marina in the wind this morning after filling with diesel, because the first time we just ended up square across the entrance having been caught by a gust.  Right turn, and we shared Stockton Locks under grey clouds, with occasional spots of rain, before lunch at the Two Boats.  Arriving at Bascote Locks, there was a short torrential shower, but by the time we were through the staircase it was sunny, and we could see the cloud that had just passed over us.
After that an uneventful run down to Radford on our own, turning all but one lock, with the two boats behind not quite catching us before we moored.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Flags in the sunset

Lots of Irises about by the waterside on our evening walk at the moment.  We had planned do do some work touching up the paint this weekend, until we saw the weather forecast.  Occasional showers to come throughout the weekend, apparently, so painting not really on the agenda.  Guess we'll just have to go cruising, probably Leamington this time.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


An awful lot of people on that balance beam at Napton Adkins lock!  Our quick trip up and back down the flight came to a sudden pause when we came upon a paddle on the bottom gates that wouldn't fully close.  That meant the lock wouldn't completely fill, so the top gate wouldn't open.  After trying various things the first couple of boat crews to arrive gave up and phoned BW to come fix it.  However, as more time passed, more people arrived and there were sufficient to push the gate open without the water being completely level.  Most of those helped through moored up and came back to assist the next boats through so that there were enough on the gates to force them open.  Just as the last of the queue was dealt with, the BW guys arrived and were able to get the paddle down and mark it with hazard tape so that people didn't try to reopen it.  I wish I knew how - I suppose all of the bits of hazard tape around the network have a little drama like this behind them.   
Oh, and the Folly Inn is open again, having had a bit of a makeover, and seems to be doing well.  Quite a good looking menu, and the fish we had was fresh and well cooked.  Also a choice of beers on hand pump, and dogs welcome - what more could you ask?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Nature Notes (2)

No boating again this weekend, so more from the archive...
Most people are familiar with the way herons wait until you are close then take off and land a hundred yards on, only to repeat it when you get there soon after.  This one waited until we were nearly alongside to take off, and seemed to want to race us through the bridge hole.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Radford to Ventnor Farm

After an evening spent at a selection of unexpected angles, as the water level was varying so much, I eventually loosened the ropes so that we were afloat about two feet away from the bank.  Passing boats were not a problem, as we grounded and stuck in position each time something passed.  Levels were low all the way, as we moved south with NB Coromandel, apparently due to a failure in the back pumping at Radford Lock.  The forecast had been for winds of more than 20 mph, and the gusts were a lot stronger than that as we made our many attempts to get back to our pontoon without demolishing it.