Whoa!!!… it was a cold one this morning!!! We didn’t have far to go initially, only 2.5 miles up to the top of Knowle Locks where we had organised to catch up with John, Lynne and Doreen.
They had driven across from Wolverhampton to join us for the day and of course for us to utilize some lock slaves!!! Whilst awaiting their arrival we utilized the time by doing the usual water refill, rubbish drop off and pooh bucket. This really makes us sound like we are full of it but we just want to take every opportunity we have as the next few days are going to be busy for us.
Having settled the guys on the boat and enjoyed a lovely cuppa we then put John, the lock slave to work on the five Knowle double locks.
We are now into wider canals where the locks can fit in two narrowboats at a time which is more difficult. It is much easier if you can pair up with another boat in the locks as beside making it quicker it also stops the boats rocking around inside the locks. We were very fortunate to team up with another 57 footer going in the same direction.
It all seemed pretty cruisie until the first of us went out of the lock and across the pound into the next lock that the lock slaves had prepared. The wind whipped sideways across the pound and grabbed the boat and swung it sideways. This is something we had not experienced before. Di and the other boater had decided prior to leaving the lock that we would go single file which was a good decision. Di made it into the safety of the lock first with neigh a bump and then the other boater who had seen her struggle headed out into the pound. He too was tossed around and with assistance from all was eased into the lock beside Di. It was all pretty heart stopping. This was the worst lock as the pound was the longest, on a curve and very exposed to the wind. The remaining four locks were an absolute doddle.
It certainly gave Captain Doreen an experience not to forget.
We then found ourselves right outside a pub in time for a Sunday lunch – how fortuitous was that (thanks for doing the booking John)!!!
Not sure if you would be allowed to call a pub this any more as it would be noted as being Very politically incorrect.
We had a very long and most enjoyable lunch in great surroundings and with fantastic company.
We didn’t get back to the boat until 5.00pm but always time for the final cuppa and our very sad farewell to the guys. This is the last time we will see them on this trip but we are hoping that we might see them in 2019. They made the comment that they felt the boat was missing something and that was two furry little four legged ones. This is just how we have felt the whole time and though enjoyable as it has been, there is this vacuum that is there. Next time most definitely they will be there with us.
So we set sail into the sunset waving our fond goodbyes. It was lovely and unique to be waved away like this!!!
We cruised for another hour as we needed to run the engine to get the batteries charged up so the TV will run long enough so that we can see Victoria the period drama which is in its second series. We won’t get to see the entire series before we head home but better than nothing.
We got up to Kingswood Junction for the evening. This is a very interesting section of the canal as it runs right next to the Stratford-on-Avon canal which we did last year. We remember it very well and it is a very busy junction. Up until now we have met very few other boats but this may well change once we get passed the junction. The Stratford-on-Avon canal is very popular and picturesque so it has a higher usage. We are hoping this is the case also as we have a huge set of locks to do tomorrow and we are hoping to share it with someone.