Saturday, 3 March 2012

March weekend - Day 1

We came up to the boat yesterday afternoon.  I met Adrian at his work at 3pm, and we had a remarkably good journey, considering it was Friday afternoon.  We were at Brinklow at 5.30pm.  Having this weekend on board was a late decision; we'd been due to go to some friends for dinner, and as their plans for Saturday included driving to Hull, we asked if they'd like to come to the boat for dinner and stay the night.  They arrived at 7pm, and we were soon having a chili I'd made in the morning and brought with us.

This morning was very murkey, and the forecast wasn't very promising (especially for tomorrow).  Brian and Mike left after breakfast, and we prepared Briar Rose for the off.  By the time we got to Newbold, the mist had turned to rain.  There was another shower as we passed through Rugby.  The moorings by the park had only one boat on them; I've never seen them so empty.  At the golf course, we passed Derwent6, and waved at Del.  Below Hillmorton Locks, we passed Oakfield and Piston Broke moored up.

At the locks, there was a boat going up in front of us, so we had to turn the lock.  At the middle lock, we waited for a boat which was just coming down the top, which gave us a chance to look at the work going on at the neighbouring lock.  It's all fenced off and completely empty, so you can see the paddle culverts.

At the top lock, there was another boat coming down, so we could go straight in, and another waiting.  By now the sun was trying to come out, so we had another look at the forecast to see whether it had improved.  Tomorrow is still due to be heavy rain, so we decided to stop above the locks rather than leave outselves a lot to do in the wet tomorrow.  We went along to the winding hole by Bridge 74, where I made a very efficient turn.  Then we came back and moored before Bridge 72, in more or less the same place we used in January.  Since then, the willow trees by the bridge have had a rather drastic haircut.

After lunch, with the sun now fully out in a blue sky with white fluffy clouds, we walked into Hillmorton to see what's there.  Not much is the answer, apart from rather non-descript housing.  We did find a paper shop, though, and came back to the boat a different way.  Since then, I've checked and topped up the batteries, and I've started dinner: lamb shanks which are slow cooking on top of the stove.  There have been a few boats coming past, making the most of a lovely sunny afternoon.

8.5 miles, 3 locks.

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