Long Itchington

Today we were going to cruise the grand total of two miles. It would however include, a flight of ten Locks. By 9 am we left our mooring, and headed on tick over towards the Top Lock of the Stockton flight. The reason for travelling so slowly, was the hope another boat might catch us up, and we would then have a partner through the Locks. It was not to be. Luck however was on our side, as we descended the top lock, a volunteer lockie appeared, and proceeded to set every Lock ahead, in our favour.

Approaching Stockton Top Lock

During the course of the descent, we met two boats oncoming. It was not nearly as busy on the Canal as yesterday. Maybe it was due to the fact, that being Friday, it was change over day for the hire fleets. We decided that as we were not in a rush, (we barely ever are), the crew would only operate one side of the paddles. This did slow down the emptying process, but it also reduced the amount of hopping across gates.

Looking down the Stockton Flight

We still had a way to go, with all the Locks laid out like dominos ahead. Four legs was tapping his paw impatiently on the rear counter, wondering what the hold up was. This is nothing however compared to what awaits us in a few days, or if we are feeling lazy a week or more, (The Hatton Flight). Once through the bottom lock, the mooring we were aiming for, was only a few hundred yards ahead. On arrival we found it empty, and so picked up a mooring on the rings, near to the aqueduct over the river Itchen.

Mooring rings at Long Itchington

After lunch onboard, we took the furry crew for his exercise, walking up as far as Bascote Staircase Locks, about one and a half miles ahead. He insisted on taking his bright pink frisbee, but it was regularly dropped, whenever he detected an interesting smell. On one occasion into the cut, at which point he just looked at us, as if to say, ‘I’m not getting it, you’ll have to’.

Oscar’s playtime

Back from our walk, we settled down to an afternoon of relaxation, and research into which of the six pubs, located in the small village of Long Itchington, we are going to visit.

Totals 2 Miles 10 Locks

Running total 20 Miles 26 Locks 2 Tunnels

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