Saturday, 15 June 2013

A Life on the Ocean Wave?

Saturday 15th June, 2013 at Long Itchington.
Yes, there are waves on the Grand Union Canal! At first we thought that it was the wash of passing boats - but there had been none! We assume that it was the strong winds whipping straight down the canal, but it looked very strange to see waves on the water. It has been a very windy day!

We have seen very few boats moving on this waterway. Is this a worrying indication of the poor economy or is it that people are reluctant to shell out for what is quite an expensive holiday when the weather is so disappointing - or both?
When we stopped last night, we found ourselves moored next to nb "Mrs D", whose registration number was next in sequence to our own. Quite a coincidence! This lead to a lively conversation with her owners, Mr & Mrs "D".  We never did find out what their surname actually was!
Almost immediately after we set off, we arrived at the Stockton flight of ten locks. Each was in our favour although leaky gates meant that M had to top up each one before the gates would open. These locks are unusual on two counts:
a). They have very distinctive paddles; and
b). They were all originally narrow locks but in 1930 new wide locks were built next to the narrow locks and the narrow locks were blocked off.
We moored briefly for lunch opposite the Blue Lias Inn; it takes its name from the local limestone, which is popular as a building stone and famous for its large Jurassic fossils, particularly ammonites.
The weather deteriorated soon after lunch and, after getting very wet doing two more locks, we moored up for the rest of the afternoon. However, M was very pleased to see the first wild roses of the summer.
Today: 2 miles, 10 locks and 4.2 hours.
Trip: 110 miles, 73 locks and 89.7 hours.

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