Thursday, 13 August 2009

Into Warwickshire - and one disaster after another

Yesterday's rain has disappeared completely and we are eager to press on. But the presence of the local BW man's boat at the liftbridge suggests that all is not well there. It seems that the mechanism has failed during the night and the bridge won't lift.

The extremely pleasant Warwickshire countryside appears very quickly and it is a very relaxing journey. Until disaster strikes when Helen falls inti the canal while trying to avoid one of the truly appalling stretches of swampy towpath: there really is no excuse for this state of affairs.
She is pulled out by a passing BW employee who jumps off a tractor and rushes to the bank, while we moor up. It's difficult to moor up quickly on a boat. I had never realised how long it takes.

Twenty minutes later we smell an unhealthy 'hot' smell. Sure enough the water temperature gauge, usually at 140 is now pointing at 220. Not good. We moor up again, but I notice that speeding up reduces the temperature quickly.

I try to release any air from the keel tank but the bolt is just jammed on. No chance of moving it, so I just put 3 litres of water into the tank. Problem solved, but it's not a good sign. Good thing we are on the way to Calcutt Boats who will be having a good look at the engine.

Soon enough, we are at Lapworth Top Lock. Most bizarrely, not one but two houses on the towpath side have "Private - No Mooring" signs prominently displayed. How does that work then? If we weren't running to a schedule, I'd moor up on purpose. It's not private. What's more, you pay absolutely nothing for that position and I do pay to moor up by the towpath.

Despite the number of locks, we just enjoy the descent and in no time we are among the anglers, moored boats, locks and the barrel cottage at the bottom. A man in a blazer and a boater sells us Cornettos and we turn out for the Grand Union. The light is golden and warm: like a field of wheat. It's the light on which childhood memories are filmed on.

We potter on in this glorious evening warmth, and the light goes as we disappear into Shrewley Tunnel. We stop for the night at the top of the Hatton flight.

13.4 miles, 19 locks

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Just discovered your blog (via Granny Buttons). It makes good reading and I hope you get the engine sorted out soon so you can carry on!