SATURDAY 18TH APRIL 2010
The outside thermometer registered only 2 deg. at eight o’clock but the sky was clear blue and by the time we cast off a couple of hours later the temperature was rising. The sun was soon blocked out as we entered the short but very wet Shrewley tunnel and a couple of miles later we passed Kingswood Junction. A week to the day, two years ago we turned left here and headed towards Stratford upon Avon, chums Kim & John were with us then on our maiden voyage and we have missed them this year as we retraced our journey, but now it’s all new and the first person we saw on a boat after the junction did say that the natives were quite friendly.
We kept going passed a couple of packed pubs, the garden were full of families enjoying what must be the warmest day of the year so far, when the rise of the five Knowle Locks hove into view. These lock have short, but very wide pounds between them and I made a complete hash of it, after leaving the first lock and getting battered all over the place whilst waiting for the next lock to empty. Jacquie thought she could do better, so I offered her the tiller, did I laugh as she did a full 360 deg. pirouette and still couldn’t get SKYY lined up with the entrance to the lock.
The secret we realised, is not to leave the security of the lock until the one above has finished emptying and the gate is open allowing SKYY to move straight from one to the other. This does entail walking to and from locks getting them set. The downside is that the few gongoozlers are then denied witnessing the comic antics and to what I hope was my good humoured instructions to Jacquie from the lock gate.
We found a sunny spot to moor just after the locks and lit up the barbeque for a late but tasty lunch, the first of many al fresco meals, we hope and a walk into the delightful village of Knowle finished of day.