Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Through Atherstone in the rain

 Wednesday 23 September Atherstone Locks

 The towpath was wet under overcast skies, although we had not heard rain overnight. Joanna came over for socially distanced breakfast of pain chocolat and croissants before she left for bike repairs in Berkshire, then home to Wales. Her own bike accident bruises are healing, although she has an impressive black eye!

We cruised the couple of twisty miles past the historic Hartshill CRT yard to the eleven Atherstone locks this morning, meeting several boats on bends and by bridge holes. We noted a nearly finished new marina by bridge 35, plus pleasant scenic moorings after bridge 36.

Passing the derelict old hat factory and coal yard, we reached the top lock where NB Faith was ahead of us. Her helpful crew left a top paddle up to fill a few locks for us after Faith left it, when they were not crossing over with boats ascending this busy flight of locks. 

 Volunteers helped us through the top lock. 

JAfter that, we worked with other boaters coming the other way, when possible. To help Liana, John could bring Annie into the lock, close top gates and top ground paddle, plus open the offside bottom ground paddle, before getting back on the boat as it descended in the lock.

The two pounds above lock 9 were low, maybe because its offside top ground paddle could not be closed fully, probably due to an obstruction.

The rain worsened steadily, so we moored once through the bottom lock, even though it was only about 2pm. TV and reading kept us entertained as we dried out.

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