Day Fifteen – lots of locks

We have a bit of a lazy start after possibly one or two drinks the night before – i blame my mates. I take a little morning wander up to the co-op in Willington for the essentials like butter we forgot yesterday – I nearly fainted in the cool aisle when I looked at the price – I decided against our usual Lurpak because I refuse to pay £5.20. shocking! Also when I’m walking back I spot a café canal boat and treat myself to a cappuccino so the savings on the butter were a good idea to fund other essential addictions.

We decide to head off as I notice that the facilities mooring is free, so off we go to sort all that out before heading out onto the cut once more. Willington is a fabulous place to stop, great amenities and it has a train service/bus service as well as close to Mercia Marina if you need anything from the chandlers etc. Also apparently a fab Indian restaurant which we still haven’t managed to go to yet.

The first stop is Stenson lock and it’s back to the big double locks ((by double locks it means you can fit two canal boats in side by side or one widebeam boat)) It takes a long time as the boaters are new and someone is teaching them how to control the boat and what to do so there is quite a queue of boats waiting to go down. I say good on them. If you’re in a rush you probably shouldn’t be boating and having a bit of patience goes a long way in this world and it gives me chance to chat to loads of people and two ladies stop to ask me questions. If only CRT had given me that job I went for! ((How dare they pass you up Peachy – their loss I say!)) thanks Brackets. It’s all worked out well though as I’m back to my library job which I love and term time, so I can do fabulous boating holidays and blog about it ((Oh the excitement Peachy – i can barely contain my code)). We share this lock and the next one with a nice couple who have been cruising for a while. Nice to get some hints and tips off people who have being cruising the cut for a few years.

We moor up after cruising through the stunning countryside and knock up a massive veggie breakie; waffles, veggie sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, scrambled egg and toast followed by a lovely cappuccino. We then watch some more MotoGP qualifying before giving up and having a power nap which is interrupted by lots of boats speeding past. You can tell the ones who know they are going too fast as they look away when going past – not sure why they do it. Nought as weird as folk.

After a broken snooze, we head of and arriving at the next lock at Swarkestone and I get chatting to a guy doing the locks and find out they have travelled up the River Soar. This was the one we turned around because of the lock taking ages. He confirmed it took ages to fill but obviously they got through. He said it’s a fab stretch, so one day we will go down there. It’s really made us want to go continuously cruising but that’s not going to happen for a while. As they leave, another boat is coming up and they offer to do the lock for us once I’ve closed the gate. Result. Lovely family enjoying the canal – it’s nice to see.

We are on our own for the next few locks. These are the ones I struggled with on the way up because I was poorly. It’s always so much easier going down a lock so other than the Captain having to jump off and help me open/close some of the gates as they are so heavy and I’ve said before the mechanisms are just so hard to turn – even with my full Yorkshire Strength returned, I still struggle. I deffo need a ratcheting windlass.

We moor near Shardlow for the night and you guessed it, watched the rest of Moto GP qualifying and I enjoyed a lovely time watching some dragonflies playing as the sunset. Beautiful.

((just to update you on book news, Peachy has nearly finished the final read through before she sends to the editor))

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