Wednesday 11th October
Rowington to Catherine de Barnes
8.25 miles, 5 locks
Heavy rain and wind was forecast overnight - if it happened we missed it! The wind was certainly making its presence felt when we set off, but it was, thankfully, dry. A long straight run first thing to the moorings at Tom O' the Wood with goats across the canal as neighbours.
At the bridge there is a fabulous house with
a very large garden - there is just one major drawback - the incessant roar of the M42, which is our main reason for not mooring here.
We were coming from Warwick, so it is left to Lapworth and the Stratford Canal, or straight on to Birmingham. We chose the latter and were on new water to Tentatrice. We came this way on our very first hire boat trip back in the 1980's.
There are just five, but they are big and heavy.
Spotted in the distance was a man in a red life jacket - a volunteer lock keeper - the first one we have seen in weeks. As we approached he left his paint pot (below the W)
and went to get the second lock ready for us.
His help was invaluable - I worked the first lock and then just opened up the bottom gates on the other four whilst the VLK worked the top paddles and gates. He left us to do the fifth lock, but we whipped through a lot quicker than we had expected. Neither of us noticed his name, but his help was really appreciated.
The locks are well tended
The views far reaching
The VLK informed Chris that this is known as 'Windy Hill'!
It was a very windy day and being so open and exposed it is well named!
As we emerged from the last lock we had to moor up to use the services
It took us almost 15 minutes and a lot of effort as the wind was blowing us out away from the side all the time.
The flag is rarely horizontal! My hands and arms knew all about it when we finally managed to tie up.
Onwards we went to new water for us as well as the boat and a surprisingly pretty part of the canal.
And here is that thunderous motorway we have been stalking using all available cover
We finally moored at Catherine de Barnes ready for the long haul into Birmingham tomorrow.