Saturday 1 August

Storm went off for the paper after breakfast while I washed the pots and then we moved off.  It was just over two miles to our first lock which was set in our favour but with two hire boats above waiting to come down.

I’d noticed a boat in the distance following us and I asked the skipper of one of the hire boats if he was willing to wait until they caught us up, but he was in too much of a rush and closed the gate as soon as Storm entered the lock.  He then started to fill the lock and fully opened the paddle and as I was watching the water flow before opening mine, he sent his wife over the lock gate to open my paddle.  I had to ask her to take her hand off my windlass.  Thankfully Storm had put our middle rope round a bollard and so he was able to steady the boat against the side.   I was glad they were heading in the opposite direction to us!

I worked the next five locks without a problem and at the sixth lock a gentleman from a moored boat came to ask if we’d like to share the next four locks.  It was NB Matilda who we’d last seen in Worcester and we were happy to share Bascote locks with them.  After the locks they stopped for water and we continued on to Long Itchington where we moored up for the day.  (6.5 miles and 10 locks).

This evening we walked Max along the tow path to Stockton Top Lock and we were accompanied for much of the way by the sound of green woodpeckers.  We spotted a bench beside the towpath that two doors in the backrest and when we opened them they revealed a memorial to a fellow boater who last passed this way in 1994.

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We also spotted this cute vehicle which Storm tells me is a Nissan S-Cargo and that few were imported.

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