(Boat Sickle & Chalice - posted by Alan)
Very retrospective post for Monday 25th August.
This was the final day of the event at Alvecote, but is usually the case, some boats had already started to slip away.
Our son Michael had been with us for most of the weekend, but now needed to leave and return home. The weather was not predicted as being great, but Michael was very keen to take Odin, who he had not seen for some weeks, for another decent walk before he left us. Retracing some of a walk Cath and he had already done, we finally found lakes that looked fine for Odin to take a swim in. He has not really had the chance since his dice with death, so we were initially a bit cautious - we need not have been! Odin quickly proved that he was more than equal to a good swim, and, much like the time he had really first learned, was very obviously building up his distances, as he relearned exactly what was possible. Soon he was retrieving sticks thrown a long way away, but still doing a few deliberate unnecessary detours for practice, before finally bringing them back to us. Cath and I had seen him swim very competently before his illness - being a "Lab" he is a natural. However this had been on another canal holiday, and Michael had not been there - so this was in fact the first time Michael had seen him at play in this way. It is fantastic to see a dog that so nearly died now behaving exactly as if nothing bad ever happened - it so nearly ended very differently, and I'm not sure oating would ever have been quite the same had it done so.
We really should have taken some more pictures, but somehow failed to.
We couldn't resist the lure of the Samuel Barlow one more time, so had a final family meal there before Michael set off for home.
We ourselves left far too late in the day to reasonably tackle the Atherstone locks, (all 11 of which we would need to work twice), so instead went just the few miles to the start of the flight, ready to go up the locks the following morning. It is the best place to stop anyway - although there is what appears to be very good moorings in the long pound two locks up from the bottom, there have been significant problems with levels dropping there overnight on our recent visits, and we did not wish to find "Sickle" grounded on the bottom, unable to be easily moved the next morning.
Alvecote Marina to Atherstone Bottom Lock
Miles: 5.0 (Chalice), 5 .0 (Sickle), Locks: 0
Total Miles: 710.7, Locks: 477