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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Into Warwick

Jaq had two appointments at Warwick hospital, one for Physio and the other with a consultant both concerning her knee so we had to decide how to travel into Warwick.
Our mooring has been for the past 14 days been Hatton near the station which was handy for a Tesco order and Rowington that had space for log cutting and good views over the countryside.
Downside of Hatton was the trains although it was not too noisy for a few days and the station was handy for a trip into Leamington Spa mostly to satisfy my hunger for fresh fruit.

Beside the hospital we had another reason to choose our journey into Warwick, we are getting low on diesel. Down to half a tank with our two spare 5 gallon Jerry cans empty. Winter is the time we like a full tank plus reserves so the decision was made to take the boat into Warwick.

The Hatton flight totals 21 locks plus the two at Cape. Now we have had offers of help to bring the boat down the locks and we are very grateful to those who offered but we hate to make plans too far ahead and therefor feel bad not being able to give you lovely people some notice. We stopped at the Saltisford Trust arm and loaded on six bags of coal but sadly they do not sell diesel.

This decision was made Saturday after consulting the weather forecast  and we moved down the locks Monday during a break in the stormy weather of late.
Storm Abigail had come in from the Atlantic and blown a few of my cut logs off the roof and now as I write this (Tues. evening) another storm, Barney is buffeting the boat with 60mph winds. Never mind I have four mooring pins holding us into the bank directly opposite the hospital, and that was how we traveled for Jaq`s hospital appointments. She will let you know about that soon.
So one of our reasons to travel has been dealt with and that leaves the diesel problem to be sorted.

In this area of the canal system fuel supplies are limited with no fuel boats passing through the Hatton locks and just the north Stratford canal having a boat yard but only after passing through 19 locks and of course 19 back again.
Warwick has two boatyards, one that holds no stock during winter because of limited sales and the other that won`t allow boaters to declare their percentage for full tax to be charged even though the UK government state the boater can declare his own percentage. Basically you pay full tax for propelling the boat and a reduced tax for heating and generating electricity. This time of year boats are not moving so much so less diesel is used to propel the boat but this particular boatyard wants to tell me what i`m going to use by charging 60% propulsion and 40% domestic. Of course readers abroad will probably have guessed it`s all to do with the EU and you are correct.

Getting hot under the collar after typing EU so we will move on. There is a fuel boat that comes into Warwick about once a month and we have arranged to meet him around the 26th as we leave and he enters Warwick. We will fill up and buy more coal that together with all the cut logs on the roof will keep us warm well into winter.
The towpath here at Rowington widens for about a boat length, giving me enough room to cut logs. The nice thing about this site is the break in the trees giving that feeling of openness.
The view across the canal overlooks a few scattered homes. The canal is on an embankment giving us chimney top views of the Warwickshire countryside.
From the mooring heading towards Warwick the fields both sides are full of Norway Spruce and Nordman Fir trees. Back at the mooring there was a single Spruce growing close to the towpath so I have named the spot Christmas Tree Mooring.
On the way we passed this ex working pair moored up on the offside by a fishing lake. The sign says they are for sale but it would take a rich enthusiast to restore them. The number on the motor brings up the name Mabel a 70 foot wooden hulled boat.
Part way down the Hatton locks CRT have workshops and some of the workforce were loading a skip. The whole lot in both pictures was dredged from the canal through Leamington Spa. Strange sort of person that uses the canal as a dump. Seats, cycle frames and all sorts of metal objects including a fridge.

Jaq brings the boat into another of the 23 locks we are to go through today. We actually did the main flight of 21 in about 3.5 hours.and our timing was good with no rain and little wind.  


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Good to see the blue sky on your trip down Hatton! Am looking out my bedroom window (cuppa in bed before getting up to paint again) at a sunny sky here too, but expecting rain later today - you have storms from the US and Europe, we get our rain and winds from Australia - what is it about these big countries that they think they can send us their bad weather?!
Love to you both, Mxox

Les Biggs said...

Hi Marilyn
Yes I do tend to dig at Jaq about America sending us all their rubbish weather.
Today and yesterday (fri/sat) saw the sun shining. starting to get cold now.
Les x

Cut and Rune said...


Glad we were able to assist (a bit) going down the Hatton Flight.It was a difficult call though since the boat who joined me in the lock whilst I was waiting for you was single-handing so I felt we couldn't really say to him 'go on ahead' and if I had we'd have only have caught him up! You still made pretty good time though :)

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs