Down 2, up 6
Warwick to Bascote: 8.6 miles, 8 locks
At just before midday on Wednesday Cleddau resumed her summer cruise – phase 4 now – pulling out of the Saltisford Arm at Warwick and turning right towards Leamington Spa. Summer, as in summer weather, still prevails and here in Warwickshire there is a great deal of heat but little breeze.
Why the long pause in boating – and in boatwifing? There were the Captain’s planned meetings in Bedfordshire – and then a meeting of a very different sort – in Cheshire. For the first time in three years the cousins were to meet. Here, high above the Macclesfield Canal, are the gang of four, all of whom have featured in this blog before –
from left to right: Cal Guy Jnr, Cal Guy Snr, Cal Gal and the Cheshire One.
Back to the Saltisford Arm yesterday, Cleddau all present and correct. Good works were going on – the installation of electric power shoreline pillars.
Further along, between the car park and the boats, Boatwif came across a surprise, a delightful sensory garden.
How had she not found it before? Well, it’s been there only five weeks! For safe and convenient mooring at a very reasonable price this place is superb. You might have to block out the noise of rush hour traffic and the occasional trains (and happy children in a paddling pool in a garden nearby) but you can choose sun or shade for sitting out, there are barbecue areas, an on-site laundry – and ice-creams at the office when it’s open!
It’s a sharp right turn back onto the Grand Union, heading east. At the first of the two down Cape Locks a boat was waiting, nb Manchurian, a narrow boat built onto the 1928 hull of a British Waterways workboat, rescued from the Peak Forest Canal. It had been part of the boat display on the River Festival at Stratford in June, it had moored nearby at Wootton Wawen, it too had been tied up in the Saltisford Arm. Now it’s en route to a marine surveyor, to establish the damage and repair costs done by a C&RT boat on the river at Stratford. “It was T-boned,” said the helmsman. Not sure what he meant – but it sounds potentially expensive.
The canal weaves through Warwick, past old wharves though there is much new waterside development.
Where Warwick ends and Leamington starts is not apparent. There’s an aqueduct over the River Avon (yes, the Stratford Avon)
and another over a railway line. There were some well grown cygnets
and an old school building.
(Anyone remember that children’s book The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler by Gene Kemp? The book always comes back to mind if there’s a tower or a bell on a school roofline…) Really it was an afternoon for doing this, finding a cool spot and reading the afternoon away…
On the boats went, Manchurian (named after a Chinese dynasty) and Cleddau
(and a third explanation given in two days of what the name means and where the Cleddau is.) Finally, after Welsh Road Lock
time was called, time to find a suitable mooring.
“Walk ahead, take the walkie talkies,” instructed the Captain. Now will Techno Son-in-Law be impressed that at last, years on, a pair of his gadgets has been put to use? Or will he be dismissive at its low grade technology? Along the towpath Boatwif walked, looking for that elusive mooring. Stay just beyond Welsh Road lock, where there are easy mooring rings and blazing sun – or find some shade? Reeds and grasses obscure the towpath edge for hundreds of yards and then came a gap, about the right length, shaded by a mature oak tree.
There was no attempt at proper RT or the phonetic alphabet, absolutely no “Roger, over and out,” but Cleddau was talked into a beautiful shady spot.
Mostly the boat is level, but every now and again it takes on a lean, as water is drawn down through the lock behind.
It’s rather good to be back aboard, boating again…
(Tomorrow, onwards towards Napton).