Yesterday evening, Barry on AreAndAre arrived. Having filled up with water and moored up, he came on board for a couple of hours of chat; it's the first time we've had more than a conversation in passing, so it was great to get to know him better and hear all about the Home Brew Boat business.
There was lots of rain in the night and this morning was very dank and murky. We set off at 8, towards Glascote Locks. One of the boats moored at the club below the locks had come adrift and was almost across the cut; if floated back in when we went past, but I phoned the club to let them know. At the locks, we crossed with a boat between the two. At the top, the former SM Hudson yard is now run by Sarah Edgson as an expansion of Norton Canes, and will soon be offering all boatyard services.
It rained as we passed the back gardens of Tamworth, but as we moved out into the countryside things improved. Lots of harvesting has been done around here, with fields full of bales of straw.
The Atherstone Locks always seem to take an age, and today was no exception. We were following a couple of boats up, so we were all having to turn locks. After four of the eleven, we decided to stop for lunch to let the others get ahead a bit. They must have had a similar idea a little further ahead though, because when we set off again the same two boats were still just in front. At lock 5 Adrian dashed into town to buy some soap, while I single-handed the lock. Even though I'm not really very keen on this flight, it's still pretty.
We eventually got to the top and carried on to Hartshill, just short of the CRT yard, in a place where we've stopped a couple of times before. The sun has come out, but there are very tall clouds, some of which are black. It's been a day where coats and jumpers have been on and off every few minutes!
13 miles, 13 locks. (272 miles, 245 locks)