Sunday, 14 February 2010

Full steam ahead.

19 Locks, 2.91 Miles, 2 Lift bridges. Now moored at Hockley Heath.

Lapworth 002Typical Stratford Canal lock cottage.

It was an early start for all concerned this morning, well earlier than what we have got into the habit of lately. A short reverse back to the Kingswood Junction where we turned back towards the Stratford Canal and the Lapworth flight. We did the first 2 locks and then pulled in for water where Derek and Carrie caught up with us. Once full we headed off while they filled their water tank.

Lapworth 003Lapworth Junction. Lock 20 on the left to the Grand Union. Lock 21 on the right to Stratford. Lapworth 006 Lock 13 which had been the delaying factor in heading North. Feb 13th and it's back in action.

In the meantime Nb Roman arrived on the scene between us and Uccello. Roman is another Kiwi/Aussie boat owned by Brian and Wendy. Brian originates from Christchurch and Wendy lived in Blenheim as does John and Elizabeth on Nb Helen Louise, what a small world we live in. We had a good system going and were making good time until we reached lock 7 where we encountered a South bound boat. This was a brand new hull heading for the fit out shop and as of yet was not displaying a name. The pound between locks 7 and 8 is small and on a curve so the change over between locks was slow and tricky but we made it.

Lapworth 008A tight cross over between locks 7 & 8 on the North Stratford Canal.Lapworth 009 Cross over completed and we are on our way again.

Arriving at Lapworth top lock we were greeted by the owner of Lapworth Top Lock Cottage.  “I have been waiting for you” she said, reading our blog she had known we were heading that way.  Their boat Nb Nanshe was moored at the bottom of their garden. Nice to meet you sorry we didn't stay longer for a chat. After negotiating lift bridge 28 Uccello and ourselves pulled into Swallow Cruisers for pump out’s and diesel, the latter being 69p per litre and they do self declaration.

Lapworth 013Nb Uccello passing through bridge 28. Even a passerby got in on the act.

One more lift bridge and we reached our destination of Hockley Heath where due to shortage of moorings we were forced to moor outside the pub. That was fine for Uccello but didn’t leave much room for us. Luckily the small arm by the pub, despite being neatly fenced appeared overgrown and un-used  so we moored across it. It’s not the conventional way of doing things but it’s only for 1 night so I don’t think we will be causing anybody any problems.

2102 locks, 4086.34 miles, 77 tunnels, 130 swing bridges and 56 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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