I was up fairly early this morning, and wrote six more mini boat reviews while Adrian carried on sleeping.
At about 9.30 we went over to the show site to speak to a few people before the crowds were let in. I also went into the show office to complain about the use of one of my photos in the show guide without my permission.
About an hour later, I bumped into Bob and June from Autumn Myst, and we had a catch up and they came to have a look at Briar Rose. It was good to see them again (the last time was in Droitwich in September), and hear about their travels down to Bath and back.
Adrian and I had another wander round the show, then had lunch sitting on the bank by the marina in the sunshine. We then decided to turn the boat around, ready for the off, so boated up to the winding hole, then returned to our mooring facing south.
In the afternoon, I had to take photos of the presentation for the winner of the Favourite Boat vote. It went to Emily by Navigation Narrowboats of Nantwich.
Once that was done we headed off, aiming to beat the rush and the holdups at Watford Locks. It was a lovely afternoon, although rather windy, and this is a very nice stretch of canal.
There were a two or three boats ahead of us, and we were soon on our way down. The gates in the staircase are very leaky.
We made rapid progress down the locks, thanks to there being about half a dozen volunteer lockies on duty. They were resetting the top lock, the top of the staircase, and the individual locks at the bottom, to speed everyone on their way.
Waiting at the bottom lock was a very grumpy crew of a Canal Boat Club boat (or Canaltime, as we probably still know them as). They were irate that people kept coming down the bottom lock without letting them up. I went and asked if they'd booked in with the lock keeper -- and immediately wished I hadn't. They didn't believe there was a lock keeper; they disputed that there was a booking system; they thought that boats coming down were wasting water; they were shouting and swearing. I helped the boat in front of us down the bottom lock, and reset it for us; the Canaltime people brought their boat right up to the gates in protest. We later discovered that they'd sworn at the people on the boat in front -- a nice couple who'd been working on the IWA stand at the show. There must be something about Watford Locks that brings out the worst in hire boaters.
Once down the locks we carried on to Norton Junction, tucking into a space within sight of the junction. Tomorrow we'll fill the water tank, which must be getting low after all the time at the show, and head down the Buckby flight. The forecast suggests we'll need full wet weather gear.
6 miles, 7 locks.