Wednesday 19th August – Day 72
Yes, the weather forecasters were right, it did rain all day and we didn’t venture out, save to visit Cropredy Stores for bread, fresh fruit & black pudding.
Thursday 20th August – Day 73
With Storm Ellen on the way, we decided to make a dash for Fenny Compton today. We cast off at 7:30 (yes a.m.) and watered up at Cropredy Services, then it was onwards and (literally) upwards as we climbed the nine locks to the summit level of the canal.
We had been warned to expect delays at the flight of five locks at Claydon which have restricted opening hours of between 9.30am to 4pm. Having had a good run up the other locks, we were surprised not to find a queue at Claydon, apparently, C&RT bank-staff had been out ‘running water down’ and unlocked the flight at 8:00 am, good news for us!
With two volunteer lock keepers on duty and a constant stream of boats coming down we cleared the flight in 40 minutes.
Top Lock Cottage has gained an electricity supply since our last trip this way, somewhat spoiling the view by an unsympathetically sited transformer, which dominates the cottage, and I do miss the wind generator whizzing round even if it has been replaced by a vintage tractor.
By 11 am we were at Claydon Moorings where we paused to speak to Ian & Ali and get some runner beans & a courgette from their garden.
With no more locks, we covered the next three miles without any bother and tied up on the first 48-hour mooring at Fenny which was a bit dark & shady. We had just finished lunch and were setting up Joy’s ‘Art Studio’ ready for her lesson, when a boat came past which had been moored three boats back, so it was a quick reverse into their space which was much sunnier and a 14-day mooring.
This was useful as we intend to stay here for the weekend to sit out Storm Ellen and to receive visitors, but more of that in the next instalment.