Friday, September 24, 2021


 Flights of locks always look a bit daunting when you come to them don't they? Once you get going though, especially if you have crew to set the lock ahead it all becomes quite fun. Here we are at the bottom of the Stockton flight, big locks but not too heavy, I'll take them over Buckby any day. Half way up we caught up with Nb Zola who we met earlier in the week and are our newest good friends. Locks can be like that.  Tomorrow Zola's skipper is booked in to Willow Wrens very smart looking trading centre near the top of the locks for an engine maintenance course.

Also half way up the locks I chatted to a volunteer lockie about our practice of only using one top paddle to fill these locks. The boat sits nice and still, and according to the lockie, his mate at Hatton locks reckons  you only save about a minute over using two paddles. I suppose that mostly applies when a single person is doing it.

Last night we moored at The Cuttle pub to give it a try. A good mooring (if a tad shallow) right opposite The Two Boats.

 Between them they would make a good pub. As it is the Cuttle has the better beer and the Two Boats the better food. The two boats seems to be winning on the popularity front though, being very busy on the benches canal side. It looks proper nice after dark. I think it gets my vote.

Keen photographers will see I missed a trick there. I should have captured more of the pub' s reflection in the canal. Doh!

Now we're moored barely a half mile from our marina enjoying a final afternoon and evening on the towpath before finishing our short holiday. I admit I was a bit reluctant to agree to go down to Leamington just to turn and come back, but it's turned out to be a lovely trip.  Typical Grand Union, hard work but well worth it.

PS for a change I thought I'd do this post on my phone. It seems to work ok.

1 comment:

Oakie said...

Been in both pubs (of course,you say) and The Two Boats seemed to be the more popular of the two. A few years ago, I cruised from Stockton Top to within two locks at the top of Hatton, leaving Stockton at 6am and arriving at The Hatton Arms about 9pm to meet my daughter. That was 40 double locks in one day, all done solo - the most I have ever done in one day and I was totally exhausted at the end. I don't think I have ever appreciated a pint or two, more than at that time. I was advised by Mike Partridge (Stoke Bruerne trip boat Charlie) to open one paddle only at the time and it saved considerable effort and time on my part. The paddles are about 3ft wide, so let in or out a considerable amount of water.