We thought we would rather like to get to Braunston today. Although we had already been out and celebrated our wedding anniversary early a couple of days ago, we could now do it for real, after the dress rehearsal.
I don't think we were quite prepared for the boating day that followed, and had simply not expected it to be anything like as busy as it turned out. Two days ago, we had come out of Birmingham to beyond Knowle locks, and literally only passed one moving boat the whole day. Yesterday was much busier, as we worked down Hatton and through Warwick and Leamington, but I'm not sure we had still woken up to the idea of bank holiday weekend!
|"Bottom seriously too close to top" at Bascote.|
|Opening move in the "Bascote shuffle"|
I'll not go into detail - as there are actually less effort ways of doing it than what those coming down went for, but basically two boats come down the top lock, with the water used to fill the lock Chalice was in coming up. Once equalised, and the gates are open, you shuffle boats Tetris style until each have changed chamber, then go on your way as normal.
|Even amongst weird boats, this one is VERY weird!|
|Line up of ex working boats at Warwickshire Fly Boat Company.|
|The Blue Lias.|
|Sharing at Stockton - another experienced crew eases the work!|
|Stockton Locks come thick and fast.|
|Queuing at Calcutt Bottom Lock|
It has to be said the waiting here was unnecessarily long. Is it beyond the wit of crews going uphill to leave open the gates of the lock they are leaving, to allow a clean exchange with boats nearly ready to leave the lock above coming down ? It sometimes surprises me that people who clearly own their own boat still have little concept of how to get people through with the least delay at the busiest times.
|Festivities at "Braunston Village Weekend".|
Above Fosse Locks to Braunston
Miles: 12.5, Locks: 19
Total Miles: 361.7, Total Locks: 350