I was hoping to get a bit of exercise today, having spotted on the Waka Huia blog that Marilyn and David planned to go up Hatton Locks. I contacted them and offered to swing a windlass, as Hatton is only about an hour's drive from here. I was off in good time, but when I arrived at the car park discovered a text to say they'd decided the weather wasn't conducive to locking. It was the right decision, with heavy rain and strong winds. I drove down to the Cape of Good Hope to find them -- possibly earlier than expected -- and was plied with tea and cheese scones. M&D are travelling with Mick and Julia on Unknown No 3, whom we met last September when we shared the Buckby Locks with them; they came in too, and it was good to catch up with them.
After a good couple of hours I headed off, but couldn't resist a look at Hatton Locks. The place was deserted, which is unusual. I went for a bowl of soup at the cafe at the top of the locks, and they were having a vey quiet day too.
Just a couple miles away is Kingswood Junction, so I drove up there and had a walk around. Here there were a couple of boats on the move in spite of the conditions, which were still pretty grim.
Having arrived via the M40 I decided to return using the M1 (to make a ring, I suppose!) and head cross country. I realised as I passed theough the outskirts of Rugby that Newbold wouldn't be far off my route, and I suspected that Bruce and Sheila on Sanity Again would probably have decided to sit out today as well. I was right, so I knocked on their roof. More tea and more enjoyable conversation.
While I was in Newbold the sun came out, and the drive back to Thrupp Wharf was very sunny indeed. As I got back to the marina there was clearly a heavy shower on the way, with the sky black one way and blue the other.
Sure enough, I'd only been in a few seconds when the most torrential rain came down, blown horizontal by the wind. A couple of minutes later the sun was out again, but if anything the wind has strengthened, making waves on the marina and buffeting the boat.
I spent some time trying to stop a drip from the heated towel rail. It's never been right since it was installed at Calcut, BLS had a go when we were in for blacking a couple of months ago, and Dave tightened up one of the joints yesterday -- but there's still a drip. I undid the joint, managed to catch almost all the liquid from the rail, and remade the joint using some PFTE tape supplied by Mick. The joint is much better -- but there's still a drip, as it's coming from above. I'm wondering if it's been from there all along. I'm not sure what to do about it, either way.
Tomorrow, work then home.