|First light and about to set off|
The first 10 locks at Stockton, 4 at Bascote and the 6 spread out, took roughly 4 1/2 hours.
|Stockton top lock|
|Looking down the flight|
|Second lock had a lowish pound|
|Half way down Stockton another early bird, this time ascending.|
|Bascote staircase lock. Ian noticed a dead animal in the lock. Turns out it was a hare.|
|Not at this time of year surely! Although we did see a wasp flying earlier on so who knows.|
Then it was the long run through to Warwick and Cape locks before the Hatton 21. Rain arrived during this time and I relinquished the helm to Ian as he had all the wet weather gear on including trousers. No point in both getting wet. Then the wind picked up......again.....and we debated whether to carry on. Time was still only 2ish so we decided that to get a few of flight under our belt would be a bonus.
As we approached the bottom lock Ian spied a Mandarin duck.with its mate. I know that Ian, owner of the Saltisford Arm, had two a year or so ago and wondered if they could be the two. I grabbed the camera and passed the tiller to Ian. Unfortunately at that self same time a huge gust of wind took the bow round to the bank and towards a moored boat before Ian could do anything about it. He reversed rapidly and I managed to get down the side and fend off just before we were about to hit the boat. Phew no damage done I'm pleased to say. Tried to hail the boat owner to apologise but no one appeared so assumed they were out.
|Bottom of the Hatton flight|
12.5 miles, 28 heavy GU locks, 8 hours