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Boat Blog: The Odyssey 2016 – Day 50 – Grand Union

Posted by indigodream on 14 September, 2016

Rewind to Saturday 20th August

Napton to Leamington Spa

Archie inspecting his little cousins' boat :-)

Archie inspecting his little cousins’ boat πŸ™‚

We had thought about travelling to the boat on Friday night, but hey, we now had 10 days of uninterrupted boating ahead of us so why start it in a traffic jam!

We had a good trip up to the boat on Saturday morning, loaded with our clothes for a week, various oddments for the boat, and our cruising companions Archie and Henry – always good company on holiday πŸ™‚

We arrived at the boat mid-morning and were soon off, having left the car in a little layby above bridge 109. We were anxious to get going as the weather forecast was pretty dire for the afternoon.

We were moored very close to Napton Junction, so we were soon on the Grand Union, watching the wind whip up little whitecaps on the canal – now that’s a rare sight! There were a few boats on the move and we were joined by nb Clarence at the top of the Calcutt flight. They were truly excellent locking companions – efficient and entertaining. We flew down the flight, despite there being some epic winds blowing a mixed bag of showers ahead of them. It was a waterproofs on, waterproofs off sort of day, with the weather deftly changing its face to suit the opposite to what we were dressed for.

The canals are so colourful, in every sense of the word...

The canals are so colourful, in every sense of the word…

We weren’t sure how far we’d get, but nb Clarence were such excellent locking partners we soon found ourselves flying down Stockton as well in 40 minutes! They stopped off at the Blue Lias for a drink – we were sorry to lose their company but we wanted to carry on – not only did we have a cruising target for our holiday, we were also enjoying the freedom of one of our favourite waterways.

The hounds enjoyed their first day of cruising and, as always, failed to pace themselves – there was Olympic looking to be done, as well as lots of lock-side rummaging.

We were soon at Radford Semele lock, which marked the start of the long lock-free pound to Warwick. Richard cycled back for the car and I carried on to “The Moorings” pub. There was a mooring directly outside the pub – very convenient, especially as Leamington Spa’s big stores are a five minute drive away.

We haven’t been to The Moorings pub for years – back then it was a carvery type place and did not allow dogs inside. Now it’s a lovely dog-friendly gastropub – the food was fab and the service friendly and efficient. The hounds enjoyed a lot of fuss, but they were tired and a little bit skittish so they were glad to go back to the boat and to bed.

Tandem manoevres on the Stockton flight - super-efficient and surprisingly manageabe considering how windy it was....

Tandem manoeuvres on the Stockton flight – super-efficient and surprisingly manageable considering how windy it was….

But it wasn’t bedtime for me – although I was in a pub, it’s quite rare for me to actually drink (though I can enjoy a cold cider after a long day’s cruising!), so I was up for taking the car round the corner to Morrison’s and getting our supplies in for the week. I got to the store within a whisker of closing time, but it was blissfully empty of people so I whizzed round in no time and was soon back at the boat. The pub, which is also a hotel, had a generous car park so we left the car there overnight with the intention of moving it to the train station car park the following morning.

The mooring was rather noisy until about 11.30am – partly from the cars crossing the road bridge, which is almost directly above the moorings, and from the really annoying musak from the pub. It didn’t bother the boys, they were fast asleep, having had a busy day’s locking πŸ™‚

 

Photoblog:

Tired already, and the holiday has barely started :-)

Tired already, and the holiday has barely started πŸ™‚

Olym[pic looking - the team is looking a bit grey around the gills now - I tell Archie that he's ageing beautifully, like Pierce Brosnan :-D

Olympic looking – the team is looking a bit grey around the gills now – I tell Archie that he’s ageing beautifully, like Pierce Brosnan πŸ˜€

Very leaky gates at the Basctoe staircase...

Very leaky gates at the Bascote staircase…

An abundance of apples at Bascote - but I'm noot equipped for making jam on board...

An abundance of apples at Bascote – but I’m not equipped for making jam on board…

Leaving the Basctoe staircase - I like this flight - wehave mny happy memories here...

Leaving the Bascote staircase – I like this flight – we have many happy memories here…

This sign on Welsh Road lock cottage tickled me :-)

This sign on Welsh Road lock cottage tickled me πŸ™‚

Welsh Road lock cottage - who says the Grand Union isn't pretty? :-)

Welsh Road lock cottage – who says the Grand Union isn’t pretty? πŸ™‚

Archie's middle-aged now but he's still got it!

Archie’s middle-aged now but he’s still got it!

The camera has always loed Henry Beanz...

The camera has always loved Henry Beanz…

Lcok-wheeling - no wonder the boys slept so soundly....

Lock-wheeling – no wonder the boys slept so soundly….

Not sure what this event above Radford Semele lock was, but it certanly looked like fun..

Not sure what this event above Radford Semele lock was, but it certainly looked like fun..

Pub hounds - they always behave impeccably - even more so when they're exhausted!

Pub hounds – they always behave impeccably – even more so when they’re exhausted!

 

 

 

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