After yesterday's evening of drinking and eating with Bruce and Sheila from Sanity Again (and we know exactly how many bottles were consumed, as we'd been to the rubbish point that morning), I didn't sleep that well. But we still managed to stay in bed longer than other mornings this trip. Before we set off Sanity Again came past, and we also did a job that we've been meaning to do for a while: remove the dangling side fenders. We don't see the need to have fenders deployed when travelling, in fact they are liable to cause more problems than they solve. They were attached to fender eyes in the gunwales with shackles, some of which were badly rusted and needed a squirt of WD40 to get them moving. We did the towpath side ones first, and the other side once we were in the lock.
It was a lovely morning -- sunny and warm, and the dappled sunshine through the trees made for a magical scene. It really is a very beautiful canal, even if the locks feel like hard work and the bridges are very narrow and often strangely skewed across the canal.
We crossed a number of aqueducts, a tiny one at Yarningale, a bigger one high over the A3400 at Wooton Wawen (where we passed Sanity Again moored up), and a long one at Edstone. Because the towpath is below the level of the water there's even more sense of flying that crossing the Ponty.
We got to Wilmcote at around 12 -- once again reaching our planned overnight stop at lunchtime. We had lunch and decided to go down the flight of locks. We were quite lucky with the number of boats coming up, so many of the locks were in our favour. It's clearly the day for hire boats to be heading back. They're very pretty locks, and it was really warm.
The moorings at the bottom of the locks are overshadowed by the rather noisy A46, so we made the decision to fill up with water at the water point, then press on to Stratford. Many of the boats we'd passed said there was plenty of space at Bancroft Basin. The journey was little more than an hour and a half, passing through the less touisty bits of the town. On arrival in the basin I did (even though I do say so myself), a great spin to reverse onto one of the pontoons. We have the statue of Shakespeare and Hamlet behind us. We went for a walk, bought our Avon licence from the floating office in the basin, and went up the new tower at the theatre, for great views of the town and the surrounding area (although there's a tree in the way of the basin). As we're in a town, we may go out to eat tonight.
11 miles, 24 locks. (48 miles, 83 locks)