Wednesday morning we reversed off of our mooring back to the water point and thence to Sutton Wharf to wind (turn), my temporary bow-thruster fuse didn’t even last that far, so Further Investigation will be required, I’m hoping for an electrical solution but fearing a plastic bag or worse wrapped around the bow-thruster’s prop!
We continued back to Marston Junction and onwards to Hawkesbury in the unremitting drizzle, Joy has been sharing the steering with me and was persuaded to attempt that 180° turn, which went OK until a cyclist hailed us to ask the way to Birmingham.
He was finding the towpaths really bad having to push his bike through the mud in places and had already been to Coventry so why he came back this way was a mystery to him and us (not to mention his lack of a map!). On the subject of mucky towpaths we noticed this plant growing in many of the boggy places, perhaps someone can identify it from our long range photo?
We didn’t find a suitable mooring at Hawkesbury so we carried on, almost to Stretton Stop, where Rose Narrowboats are based, and found ourselves a spot where mercifully the busy railway line veers away from the canal for a few miles so we could have a quiet nights rest.
We made an early start the next day and Joy took us through her first tunnel at Newbold. We made Rugby by lunchtime and walked down to Tesco for provisions and Maplins where I bought a hard drive enclosure so I can copy over my files from the old laptop and an Acer power plug so I can use my 12v adaptor.
After lunch we made our way up to the top of Hillmorton Locks meeting a couple of working boats on the way, nb Peacock, running a Bolinder engine if I’m not mistaken and Royalty Class Victoria, Royalty Fuels. Quite something when you see the height of those bows headed towards you.
We moored at the locks behind nb Waiouru because we had visitors coming for a meal, John and Judith from nb Serena who had chauffeured us to Crick Show and were now celebrating the installation of their new engine.
Today took us on to Braunston Junction, on the way this widebeam was moored near a bridge-hole. They will have to turn before Hillmorton because they are narrow locks!
Onwards to Napton, passing another working boat, nb Arundel, and after some debate about the weather upwards too, on up the locks which were quite busy but it mostly worked to our advantage, except for one hire crew who ‘turned’ a lock on us, bless ‘em.
There was no room at the moorings at the top of the flight so we continued along the summit level until we found a quiet spot with another boat near Priors Hardwick.