Warwick - Saltisford

We picked up Albert on Good Friday from Tony Redshaw's works at Braunston. The injector pumps were fixed and after a bit of "fiddling about" Albert's engine was running well again. It was good to get off again.

The only negative was the duck crap all over the roof! In the unseasonal sunshine it had become baked on hard. It appears that when Albert was moored up along the towpath she was under the favourite roosting site for the duck population of Braunston. It took some elbow grease and hot water to remove.

We took on water at the water point by the turn. Being a Bank Holiday weekend it was busy and the boating skills displayed varied. At one point it appeared that a gridlock might ensue but it was sorted out in the end.

We headed for Wigrams Turn and in the early afternoon went down Calcutt Locks with a boat from Ventor Farm Marina. We went down Stockton Flight singly and moored up for the night at Blue Lias just behind narrow boat Ol' Smokey - a Gardner engined Steve Hudson Boat. The engine doesn't smoke - the owner used to have a steam traction engine before taking up narrow boating. We were joined for the evening by the Matllock side of our family for beer and food. The Blue Lias has a great selection of real ales including Hook Norton, Wadworths, and Broadside - good place to stop overnight.

The next day we continued along the Grand Union towards Warwick. The weather was glorious. Bascote Staircase Locks were in a mess. We met a hire boat coming up the flight who couldn't get over the cill because there was no water in the top lock. We let some water down to get them out of trouble and then sorted out the water levels. I don't know how they were in such state since a pair of boats had just gone down. Maybe they had left a paddle up.

Bascote Locks

We were joined by NB Inapickle and went down the locks to Warwick together. The stretch through Leamington hasn't improved and was quite sluggish - presumably in need of dredging. It got better near Warwick and we reached Saltisford about 5.30.

River Avon Aqueduct

We got a good welcome from Ian the Canal Centre manager and were allocated a very good visitor mooring close to the winding hole. We think Saltisford is a little gem. A friendly community, good facilities, secure moorings and Warwick on the doorstep.

Saltisford Canal Centre