So to begin, first we left after breakfast and followed the diesel and coal boat 'Auriga' through All Oaks Wood. The wind was still blowing and them leaves were still coming down and very glad to get to the other side. Here we met Auriga servicing the moored boats. Ian asked the price of diesel as we crept past only to be told he had none on board at the moment "But when I do it will be 74p litre." he stated.
Ian was below making a loaf (in the bread maker I might add just in case you think he is a master baker!) when I arrived at Rose hire boats in Stretton. That swing bridge needed opening so I took great delight in pressing our 'crew alert' button. It's situated by the head light and horn buttons and many a time I got it wrong! Not today though and he came a running to see what was happening. Not best pleased to find it was only the swing bridge that needed opening.
|Moored a fair way out, me thinks, and right by the bridge!.|
That wind had a bite to it and I started to feel quite chilled but I soon perked up when, coming up to Anstey, I saw a familiar looking boat ahead. Yep, it was that cruiser and just setting off from under the M6 bridge. Ah ha, thought I, now we will see which way he goes at Hawkesbury Junction. But no chance. He took off like a bat out of hell passing moored boats like a demonic maniac. We had no chance of keeping up and despaired at finding out which way he turned.
But as I said earlier, the boaters grapevine is a wonderful thing. We stopped before the lock and I walked around to the Coventry Canal to see if the visitor moorings were free. In the lock was a boat and I happened to ask if they had seen that cruiser. "Yes" was his reply. "Turned left heading toward Coventry and watched him weaving from side to side across the canal. He was either having difficulty in the wind or he couldn't steer it". Hmmm...wonder which one it was? Anyway, great news as that section leads to a dead end. Then as I brought FS through the lock and turned right at the junction, a lady came up to Ian, said she had read the blog and also saw which way the cruiser went. Again I didn't get her name but the boat name was Bessie Surtees. Thank you to both of those boaters and that information has been phoned through to Steve and Lesley on 'Together Forever'. Oh and one other thing. There is a page on C&RT website where one can check to see if boats are licensed. Good news for Steve and Lesley. It is and therefore, in the C&RT agreement, must be insured. Good luck to you both and I hope you get a good result.
And the wildlife today, another water vole on the Oxford canal. Excuse the photos, not brilliant I know!