Left Kingswood just before 9:00, trains woke us at 3:00am & I couldn’t get back to sleep for ages. It was nice fresh morning and we made the turn onto the Grand Union, which I always think of as the motorway of British canals, but the level was well down this morning and passing oncoming boats was tricky as it was easy to ground out when you left centre channel. We passed Willow Wren boat, Dipper aground but they said they had just got free.
A little further on we saw steam narrowboat Tixall moored up, this is a modern steamer unlike Laplander which we saw at Stratford, steam buffs can peek inside here.
We were through Shrewley Tunnel by 10 and at the top of the 21 Hatton Locks by 11 o’clock where we were met by two volunteer lockies who helped nb Woodham and ourselves down the first few locks before going back to assist new arrivals, one of which was nb Dipper who, we discovered had a group of Scouts on board, they chased us down the locks and helped us close a few gates as we left.
We met boats coming up at some locks, although more would have been nice, one of those we did meet was nb Wand’ring Bark & The Jam Butty from which Helen Tidy sells homemade jams and chutneys which she makes on board trading as Wild Side Preserves. This was the first time we’ve seen their ‘new’ butty Montgomery looked resplendent in it’s livery.
We got into a rhythm of working the locks which I might say were easier than those on the Stratford canal yesterday and by 3pm we were slaking our thirst at The Cape of Good Hope where we are going to eat tonight.