As we were on a mission to get the boat back northward we decided that we must get up early and leave early - like 95% of the continuous cruisers. Our normal theory is to leave late then all the problems are sorted by the early birds!
So, we were up at 7.00am and off by 7.30am - there was a bit of mist plus it was a bit chilly.
Were we enjoying our early start? No it was crap and I wished I was still in bed!
First lock of the day - as there was no landing stage the workers worked the lock for us - bargain!
Second lock gave us no probs, plus we were now awake and ready to kick ass!
Third lock ... uh oh - the pic shows the gap of the closed lock!
We tried to sort it but just couldn't get it to shut/ C&RT were rang so we had a cup of tea and waited and waited. Nothing was happening so the boat coming up stuck his bow into the lock and started probing with his boat hook and pole to try and find and shift the obstruction. He found it and said it felt like a body! He managed to move it, we actually think it may have been a sandbag.
As you can see a fair bit of traffic had built up. We were at the top and if you look carefully you can see a hire boat behind us sideways across the canal ... we shared the next few locks with these guys.
Now I have nothing against hire boats - nearly all the wankers we have met have been in the private boats, but this bunch were just so lazy. There were eight of them ... at every lock they got off the boat, didn't do a great deal, then all got on again even if the lock was 100 metres away, they were driving us mental. They were letting Elaine run around doing most of the work on the locks while they stood around! At one point there was quite a gap between a couple of locks, so we arrived first, set the lock and were in there waiting for them - we had waited long enough and we couldn't see them so off we went on our own!.
Yay on our own, much better! By now the sun was out and it was yet another glorious summer's day, Sammie enjoyed laying in the sunshine.
We stopped at the services at Hungerford to fill with water empty nasties etc. The trip boat passed us as we were on the service point but we caught him at the first lock and gave them a hand. The skipper said at the next lock they would go through, leave the gates open chuck a u-ey and re enter the lock, by which time we would be there. Sounded fair enough! We were there alright ...and then waited for about 45 mins whilst all the punters had a play with the windlasses and had their photos taken on the lock beams! Never mind. they are tourists and we would not want to begrudge them having fun, after all the canal really isn't the sort of place to rush around on.
We nearly made it to Newbury but as it was 20.00 and getting dark we pulled up at this most desirable location by a flyover of a very main road!