Monday 10 August 2020

Welsh Road - too hot for some

 Today's Canal - Grand Union

Although the day started grey and pleasantly cool, this did nit last and by mid morning the temperature shot up, rising even further in the afternoon. Looks like we exceeded 30C

We set off just after half past eight as we only had a very short distance before our first stop.

Above the top Cape Lock and opposite the Cape of Good Hope Pub, we pulled in to fill with water. We just had enough room as a late arrival last night considered that the late hour permitted an overnight stop on the water point. Of course, they did not reckon on having a lie in! They set off down the locks whilst we were still filling and we did not see them again all day.

We thought that the tank was full when it started to overflow and the gauge suggested it was up to 'the black dot' but as soon as we put the hosepipe away it dropped down to 5/8. Not sure what happened but it may have been connected with Christine using the washing machine! Off down the lock . . .

. . . quickly followed by the bottom Cape Lock . . .

. . . below which a lady stands, seeming to be directing traffic.

A level run followed, taking us out of Warwick and over the aqueduct where the canal crosses the River Avon. A trust is campaigning for a link of four locks to be built here to allow a connection with between the canal and river an thus create another cruising ring, via Stratford.

Just after the aqueduct w spotted this older looking building, aiming to find out later more about it. It is called Jephson's Farm, and even features on the OS Map. It seems that the planners are especially keen to see it kept much as it is.

We passed Tesco and Lidl, aiming for Morrisons - this footbridge is our landmark for spotting where we need to moor. Mike and Jess went to do the shopping - we think that Christine was quite disappointed that we returned with only a couple of items that were extra to her list!

We finished the morning by continuing on to Radford Semele, a favourite stopping place for us and we managed to find a spot in shade - most of the mooring was in blistering sunshine! We took more than a double lunch break, aiming to carry one a little later than usual to arrive at Long Itchintgton for the night.

As we set off another boat came around the corner and they proved good lock companions. The first lock is Radford Bottom but the locks are now quite spread out, meaning each time there is a conversation about 'How Far?' - should the shore crew walk or ride?

The locks are all still much the same as at Hatton and Cape - this is Lock 22, Fosse Bottom Lock. We made the briefest of stops between Fosse Middle and Fosse Top to empty the elsan - we equally speedily dropped off our rubbish three locks earlier.

By the time we had completed Wood Lock the shore crew were wilting in the the and demanding a stop! Fortunately for them, Mike took only a little persuasion and looked for a suitable spot just after Bridge 31 when he spotted a convenient, short but empty length of armco.

As we were coming in to land we could see extensive earth works either side of the canal.We later discovered that these are 'preliminary' works for HS2 - just south of here is to be a tunnel under Long Itchington Wood, an SSSI.

Christine went to take photos just before meal time. To the south she could see extensive earth shifting going on,. with the huge trucks being filled very quickly.

To the north a sign warns that this is a protected site whilst steps are being taken to displace Great Crested Newts.

As she returned to the boat there were a few rumbles of distance thunder followed by a very heavy downpour of rain - which will hopefully cleanse the air. Just as well we opted to stay put rather than make a late trip up the Bascote Locks - we would have been soaked!

7.8 Miles - 7 Locks

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