Hatton 21 and Farewell –  23rd July 2022

Up at the crack of dawn – 7.00am – ugh. All in a good cause as Karen had organised for a taxi to pick her up from the pub at 8.30am to catch the train from Warwick back to London. It was tough saying farewell but we will see her and Miles again in London in early September.

We had organised with Dave and Janet to head off at 9.00am so that gave us some time to reconfigure the boat back to two people and do some house work. We had enough time to get one load of washing in before commencing the descent of the Hatton Flight. The video above is of the Shrewley tunnel which is 443 yards long and one of the very few you see with a tunnel specifically for horses. T’was just a little wet in the tunnel with amazing calcium build ups all along the tunnel walls.

This was going to be a big day as we had 21 locks to do in a short distance of which they were double sized locks. We last did the locks back in 2019 when there was just the two of us and we had no one to help us through. It was a very tough and tiring day.

This time though, we were doing it with the guys on their boat nb Ella and they also had friends Di and Mark who had driven over from where their boat was moored on the Oxford Canal to help us. That put four people on the ground which felt like Christmas had arrived early.

As you descend down the flight, you see the church tower from the city of Warwick in the distance.

Dave has been unwell of late so it was decided that he would steer their boat whilst Janet was on the ground and Di would steer Ange.

Dave normally does the locks so he does not have as much experience as Janet on steering the boat. He was a little nervous and even more so when Di suggested that we drive into the locks side by side and out of the locks the same way.

Have to give it to Dave, he was a very quick learner. Comes with him being a teacher and principal. he certainly had a smile on his face for most of the day.

Giving the royal wave to all the gongoozlers. What made it easier was that the boats were both 57 foot long and weighed about the same. We were also very fortunate in that we did not have very much wind.

We are not going to deny that there was the occasional bump but otherwise we were scoring 10/10 from our ground crew.

If we did lose points, it was usually style points because we were not smiling enough as we came into the locks or were too busy chatting whilst in the locks when they were being emptied.

We started our first lock at 10.30am and finished at 1.54pm – 3 hours and 24 minutes – that is excellent timing.

Dave was absolutely chuffed with his efforts and so he should be. Once we went through the last lock we made our way to the Cape of Good Hope pub to have a self congratulatory drink and thank Di and Mark for helping us out. After a quick bite to eat, it was back to the boats to crash out for the remainder of the day.

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