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Sunny morning, rainy afternoon

This morning’s sunrise was as beautiful as last night’s sunset but with rain forecast for the afternoon, we were up and about for seven o’clock. We waited at Radford bottom lock and again at Fosse wharf while we emptied the cassettes but no boats appeared so we resigned ourselves to working up through them on our own. In fact we only saw a couple of boats travelling in the opposite direction but this meant that out of the ten locks that we did today, only one was set against us.

Although double width, all of these locks are easy to do for a single boat. One gate in, one gate out and as long as you remember to open just the paddle on the same side as the boat, the flow will hold the boat on the lock wall. We soon got into a routine as I locked and Sue steered in the warm sunshine. When we reached Bascote staircase lock, a single boat was waiting at the top. The procedure here is simply to make sure that the bottom chamber is empty and the top full, regardless of the direction of travel. With one boat at the top and one at the bottom, it made sense for us both to go in and cross over in the middle when the levels were equal. It all worked out nice and efficiently with Sue picking me up on the lock tail after all the gates were closed and the paddles were down.

We arrived at Long Itchington just before eleven and tied up below the first of tomorrow’s locks. Sue finished off attending to a ham that she had been roasting in the oven as we travelled along while I took a shower and then we walked into the village. As usual, our destination for lunch was The Buck & Bell and as usual the food was amazingly good.

The skies were darkening as we returned to the canalside but the rain didn’t start until just after three o’clock, by which time we were safely under cover in the cratch.

The Mikron Theatre boat has tied outside The Two Boats so if the rain has eased by 7.30, we’ll take a walk down the towpath and watch the performance.