Saturday, 6 May 2017

Calcutt or bust

After all that exercise, we slept really well last night and had a relaxed start this morning. We'd hoped thereby to increase our chances of getting a locking partner up the Stockton flight, but it was not to be. Setting off at eight, we found another excuse to linger two locks up by topping up the water tank at the tap opposite the Blue Lias pub – good pressure there.

Still didn't work, so on we went. All the locks were with us except for a couple of occasions when we crossed with a boat going down. These locks are paradoxically easier to work than Hatton, though of identical construction, but they look much less cared for. The paint is peeling and the steel balance beams are rusty in places. We're now in the South East Waterways area rather than West Mids – maybe they have less cash to spend.

There was perhaps one day's usage left in the toilet tank, so a pump out today was a good idea. I'd wondered about the Kate Boats base at Stockton Top, well known to us from our OwnerShips days, but they don't open on a Saturday, so Calcutt it had to be. On and up we chugged, ironically getting a partner for the two locks up to the Calcutt service wharf.

Although Saturday is a turn round day for them, there was plenty of room on the wharf and we ended up laying Sanity Again alongside rather than the usual stern on arrangement. You do get a thorough rinsing there, which is just as well as £18 is at the upper end of acceptable for us.

It was now definitely lunchtime. There's no decent mooring on the section between the top lock and the junction with the Oxford canal, apart from a bit of Armco immediately above the lock which was already occupied, so we came on round the turn and have tied on pins just onto the Oxford.

Phone signals are only just detectable here – we had planned to go onto the moorings we know by Bridge 100 tomorrow, but there are a lot of weekending boats and hire boats about and it might be hard to find a space there now, so we may well sit tight here until Monday. I may say that the hire boats are going by at tickover but many of the privateers seem to think they are in some sort of race.

We've still got most of a fortnight to kill before we need to head to Crick, as we are planning to arrive there on the Monday before the show. We're thinking of taking a leisurely run up to Rugby to use some of it up, with various stops on the way.

Location:Napton Junction


Marty said...

I think you'll find that Stockton Locks are easier to work than Hatton because the paddles are slightly smaller.

Adam said...

A favourite mooring from our Ownerships days is on the section between the top lock and the junction -- on the offside, next to the reservoir, just beyond the Calcutt long term moorers. You usually have to tie to a tree, but that's part of the charm! We were told about them by Douglas Nethercleft when we did our helmsman's course when we first bought into Debdale. Apparently the reservoir is owned by BW/CRT so the bank is too.

Bruce in Sanity said...

Marty: now that's called detailed knowledge!

Adam: thanks, I didn't realise there was anything apart from Calcutt moorings there.

Cheers both