Yesterday's glorious sunny weather was but a distant memory because today we woke to grey skies and rain. We delayed our departure and did wonder whether to stay for the day, instead though, because the forecast was for improvement later, we set off toward Atherstone.
Nothing exciting happened on the journey apart from a Kingfisher flying from tree to tree posing just long enough to get a few photos.
Atherstone visitor moorings were pretty full although had we wanted to stop we could have squeezed in by the bridge. Shopping was on our agenda and we have found in the past it's not as far to walk if one can moor below the locks rather than at the top, so I dropped Ian off at the bridge so we could start our downward journey (I kept offering to do the locks but he insisted he was okay) and watched him trying not to hobble. Bless, he managed better than I would have thought. Those painkillers seem to be working.
At lock 4 the bottom gates were wide open, ah a boat was entering lock 5 and the crew were working one lock ahead. But oh my, they took their time and I was left hovering between lock three and four with that bridge spanning the canal and a decision to make. Do I go through the bridge onto the landing or hold back and wait. I held back which I think was a wise move! It gave more room for both our boats to pass. Turns out it was a historic boat with a Bolinder engine and whether rightly or wrongly, told by one of the crew that it couldn't reverse because there was no gear box. Hmm, How on earth does he get to stop then? We watched as the boat entered the lock and one of the crew whipped open the top paddle letting the water in before closing the bottom gate. Ian asked why and was told it was the only way to slow a boat with this type of engine, Personally I have never in all my boating years heard of this before but if someone could please enlighten me I would be very grateful!
So we did stop at the Atherstone visitor moorings below lock. Shopping was done and Ian was all for continuing down the flight. I put my foot down and said I had had enough. Not 5 minutes later what was heard??? That bloody Cockerel! Oh, we knew all about this particular bird having been woken many a time in the past. In fact stopping on the Atherstone moorings is a no no for us normally, it usually starts calling in the wee hours. I think I may regret my decision when we get woken at some silly o clock tomorrow.