We had moored overnight just before Wootton Waven, where the canal passes high over the road on a aqueduct and about a mile and a half further down the cut there is another cast iron aqueduct. this one crosses not only a road, but a railway line and a river and in both these situations we soared high above them. The sensation is really strange and as the top of the iron trough is just level with the rear deck of the boat and there is nothing to stop you walking off into space should the urge take you.
After that excitement there was a flurry of locks to bring us back down to earth as we finally descended into the famous Bancroft Basin right in the centre of Stratford upon Avon. Lots of gongoozlers watched our maneuverings into our chosen mooring space. Gongoozlers is the proper name for those folk that hang around locks and bridges, fascinated by the doings of boat people and hoping that somebody will get it seriously wrong.
Steak and chips was the order of the day and Marlows was the venue, their rib eye steaks were done just as we wanted them.
SUNDAY 13th APRIL 2008
A lazy Sunday, reading the papers, a nice walk along the Avon, carvery lunch at The Thatch and then an afternoon snooze. Lovely!!
MONDAY 14th APRIL 2008
We bade Kim & John a tearful farewell, as they took a taxi from Stratford back to their car in Wigrams Turn Marina. Our first, proper week cruising the canals with them, had, as when we had been on a canal holiday with them before, been so enjoyable in every way. See you soon guys.
We attended to boat chores and then dropped down the one lock from the Basin and turned left to head up the Avon to find a berth for the night. On the left there is the the Old Bathing Place. The river widens at this area and was obviously used for bathing. There is now here, what is know as a sanitary station, a place for filling with water getting rid of rubbish etc. except it is so far up the bank that my 20metre hose was 2m short. No mind, we had a peaceful night in this beautiful place.
TUESDAY 15th APRIL 2008
Almost up todate with the blog and good news I managed to upload photos onto the blog this morning. The secret is to get up at 6am, wipe the ice from inside the windows, crank up the computer, make a cup of coffee and hey presto, I got transfer speeds up to 500kps. More pictures to go, but thats the answer, by 8am speeds had dropped down to 50kps.
The main reason for doing this blog was to keep friends a family informed of what we were up to. However it's not surprising that other canal people discover the blog and we have had a couple of comments.
Del & Al of NB Derwent6 sent us their good wishes and will keep a look out for us, reciprocated!
John & Cathy are about to move on board their boat 'Mamaduke' and set of on their on adventure. We will keep a lookout for Mamaduke and wish you good fortune.
Paul of WaterWayRoutes has added our blog as a link to his website
Thankyou for your interest and good wishes and apologises for the delay in acknowledging them.
Andrew of NB Granny Buttons, also had picked up on our Blog and did some considerable research on our boat's name 'SKYY'. It is the name, in the correct font style, of an Amercian Vodka. Why the original owner of the boat chose that name, we don't know. I understood that he was a shop fitter, but we only met him once on our first veiwing of Skyy and there were more important things to consider at that time.
We debated changing the name, but leaving the cost implication aside, we decided we actually like the name. Sue, from NO PROBLEMS said she thought of it as SKY WHY, and I have said to a view curious folk, that we asked the painter for Sky Hi, but he misheard us, HA HA!!
We left this lovely spot in the river and gracefully turned around to head back through Stratford onway to Evesham. I thought I was perfectly lined up for the correct right hand arch of the bridge when the current caught the rear of the boat and swung ito the the right. Result, wedged across the arch. Fortunately a helpful soul took a rope to the top of the bridge and with him pulling oneway, me pushing the bow the other, Jacquie on the helm, we eventually got it through. A gongoozlers delight. A little damage to paint and to cratch cover, but mostly to dignity.
A quick bike trip back into town to Woolies for some gaffer tape to patch small tears in cover, which was just as well as by the time we moored near Welford on Avon, it was tipping it down.