Sunday, 16 August 2009

Up Stockton and on to Calcutt

The problems yesterday have resulted in a roster of roles which is made easier by having two extra pairs of hands. I am in the engine room, and T is skipper, with M and Grandad on locks and Helen managing Sadie, our Springer Spaniel.

T bellows Forward, Reverse or Neutral down through the doorway and I lean into the bilges and change the lever, confirming the change. When in the lock, I take over and manage the engine to keep the boat steady, watching the brickwork through the porthole.

We stop at the Blue Lias for lunch; a surprisingly disappointing time was had by all. the roasts were really very mediocre and the range and quality of the beers was poor. This is a pub that figures in all the beer guides and gets cheerful reviews everywhere, but we were unimpressed. Really unimpressed.

Afterwards, we continued on up the flight, watching for the old derelict buildings and chimneys that are all that remains of the old Southam cement works and quarries. At the top, we congratulate each other, then motor on towards Calcutt.

An hour later and we are turning into the marina, but with a strong westerly still, we miss the entrance first time and have to reverse back for a second attempt. It's the end of this journey and we are all a little disappointed: the trip has been quite difficult although memorable.

3.4 miles, 10 locks

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