A nice warm morning with some sunshine. We knew we had the 21 locks of the Hatton Flight to do so there was no hanging around. We had a hire boat behind us, and I asked them if they would like to buddy up with us. They replied yes please but we have only done 2 locks so far! I said it didn’t matter as they would be experts by the time they got to the top!
We set off at 9.30am and got to the bottom lock at 9.45am. The problem was that there was another boat already in the lock. We made the decision to go with them. I felt dreadful about leaving the rooky crew, but Richard went to apologise and said that if they waited someone else would probably come along. The crew of hire boat Albion, the boat we did the flight with, were experienced hire boaters with five people and 2 dogs on board. It worked really well with four on the ground all the time (one person had to dog sit on the other boat). The flight was so quiet - I don’t think we met more than 6 boats coming down. At the top were lots of gongoozlers, and by that time we were pretty proficient at moving together between locks, so I hope we looked good! The little café at the top was heaving with about 15 people in a queue. We passed one boat coming out of the top lock and a passer-by asked them how you work out who has priority in the locks – good question I thought!
We stopped in the top lock and emptied the loo and the rubbish, then carried on to find somewhere to moor. Nothing seemed to take my fancy, except for one place where there was a wide beam moored! At Kingswood Junction we made a left turn along the Lapworth Link towards the Stratford Canal. At Lapworth Basin it was another left turn to go down the remainder of the Lapworth flight of locks. There was a boat in front of us, but these little locks don’t take long to turn. Out of the lock and we moored up before the next lock. The weather forecast for tomorrow is rain. so this is us until Tuesday now.
I’ve just looked at when we last did the Hatton Flight. It was July 18th 2018, when we were helped by a boat with a crew of French students. We did it in 2 hours and 20 minutes – and I thought today was fast!
Oh, and by the way, I didn’t win the Lottery last night so the building of the Higher Avon Navigation will have to wait!
21 wide locks & 1 skinny one 😊