David Owen in his 1986 book "Exploring England by Canal" discusses "When to Cruise" - I have a copy on board Albert. It's a not often discussed topic. 

With the wet and cold weather we have having recently I decided to reread it. He discusses boating at Easter and points out the vagaries of the weather even when the holiday falls in late April. He points out that snow is not uncommon, but he is keen on Easter boating. As positive aspects he points out the usually plentiful supply of water, lack of weeds and wonderful spring flowers. Today was definitely a day to enjoy Easter boating. The weather suddenly changed from yesterday's heavy cold rain to today's bright cloudless skies. What a difference a day makes!

Shepherd's Hut & "Mini" Ruston Bucyrus near Trusses Bridge

Interesting Poly-tunnel At Stretton Stop

Pussy willow in bloom

Ash trees with their black buds emerging

All Oak Woods

Newbold Tunnel

Just after Newbold we had a bacon butty whilst on the move. There were a number of hire boaters on the move from several of the usual companies (Alvechurch, Napton, Clifton Cruisers, Black Prince etc.). They must be relieved by the change in the weather.

We made Hillmorton at around 2:30 and used what must be the worst water point on the system - difficult to moor up with the slopping stone bank, poorly positioned rings that can only suit a 70 ft working boat and water pressure that means it took over 30 mins to top up Albert from half-full.

We finally moved off and then joined a mini queue waiting to go up the locks. I pulled Albert in front on Nick Wolfe's mooring and we had a chat whilst waiting. A friendly cat took a shine to our boat.

Cat Aboard!

Daffodil display between the locks

 We moored up for the night just above the top lock and then walked down the flight to the cafe for afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea at Badsey's

We also explored the dry dock and other facilities. Around 18 years ago we had our first boat painted in the facility. The dock is very much the same as then but the personnel are different.

Grantham's Bridge Dry Dock at Hillmorton

Lock beams with poem


Pip and Mick said...

HI Steve
Nick Wolfe's cat is called Kat. A very friendly cat who spends much of the day asleep in the bow of Aldgate, well she did when we moored by him before Crick Boat show a few years ago.
Sorry for not having you on our blog roll, you are now.
Pip NB Oleanna