Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Kingswood Junction and North on the Grand Union Canal

Once at Kingswood Junction we turned right on to the short linking canal, about 250 metres, and passed under the railway bridge, avoiding the couple of moorings there. We turned right on to the Grand Union Canal and reversed back on to the vacant and much quieter moorings.

We had planned to stay an extra day at Kingswood Junction but the weather prediction was for fine today and wet for the next few days after that. So, with the Hatton Flight of  21 locks between us and our next stop, Warwick we chose to do them in fine weather.

Just over a one hour cruise to the top lock we passed a dilapidated old pair of wooden working boats.

A little further on we passed through Shrewley Tunnel (396m or 443yds), not a long tunnel but very wet and Rachael forgot to put her jacket on. She abandoned the camera about halfway through.

Reaching the top lock we got straight into it, the sooner we start, the sooner we finish!

It was all over in four hours! Once you get a rhythm going it gets a lot easier. We were moored mid-afternoon outside the Cape of Good Hope Inn and happy to relax after a busy day. Thursday we all headed into Warwick town centre but having been here before we knew not to expect much. It was showery so we had our coats and umbrellas at the ready for the half hour walk into the centre. No pics here, nothing new to report so if you would like to see some pics of Warwick you will find plenty in the 2015 folder of this blog.

Friday we said goodbye to Sylvie and Michael from NB Chartwell, we had made an appointment for Monday for an electrician to check out Serafina's electrical system. Friday was a 12 lock day which included the two chamber staircase at Bascote but once again an early start after filling with water and we were sitting on the Long Itchington Moorings around 3pm with only one other boat around. I sat down in the lounge chair and put my feet up and woke up an hour later.

Saturday was very overcast and windy so hard to handle the boat at low speed. Once again, only a short cruise to the first two locks then on to the Stockton Locks, eight locks in total. Rachael worked Serafina up the flight which became very busy half way up, all but the top lock were in our favour making it a lot easier for us.

Not the best day to get the waste tank pumped out , lots of hire boat companies doing change-overs and not interested in any other work. We pulled in to Black Prince at Napton Junction only to be turned away again. We headed for Braunston crossing our fingers and legs! Dinner was at The Boat House Inn. Sunday was our rest day after making it to Braunston ready for our Monday appointment.

Monday was an early start as we cruised to the water point for a fast fill and then on to Braunston Marina where the first job was a self-pump out (for the boat!) and just a top up of diesel since they don't allow self-declaration, everybody pays the 40% propulsion.

Serafina's batteries have not fully charged since we left Stoke on Trent. It was just after lunch that the electrician had finished checking the batteries, the solar controller, the inverter, the battery management system and the alternator. The final solution was to put a switch on the solar and see if that would allow the batteries to fully charge off the engine. I will test it for a few more days but confidence is not high that this is the solution.

Monday afternoon we headed out of the marina and down the Oxford Canal to Rugby, a nice four hour run. We passed the new marina, Dunchurch Pools, along the way, last year there was not much more than signs and a little excavation.

The hills along the way were filled with poppies among other wildflowers.

Arriving in Rugby it was a pleasant surprise to find that CRT had installed new mooring rings, enough for probably around a dozen boats.

The soccerball count now stands at 21.

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