Just a short post today as we have not gone far. The mooring last night was very peaceful, and this morning we woke to sunbeams streaming in through the portholes. After breakfast we cast our mooring lines, and entered the first of four Locks. Soon we were arriving in Bidford-on-Avon, with its delightful stone, multi arched bridge. Luckily, the navigable arch is very clearly marked.
Once through the bridge, it was a hundred yards or so to Bidford Boats. We winded the boat, and moored alongside a hire boat whilst obtaining services. The pump out charge was very reasonable for a passing boat, at 12 pounds, and we topped up the diesel tank. About forty minutes later we we underway again. Cruising on through the countryside, we became aware of a boat gaining on us. We would now have a lock partner for the next couple of Locks. It was a Braunston hire boat which had left Braunston on Saturday. It has taken five weeks for us to get this far from there, and they plan to do the rest of the Avon ring cruising route, and a deviation to Stourport in ten more days.
The Sun which greeted us this morning, was by now hiding behind the clouds. However with the change in wind direction, it was not cold. River cruising is very pleasant, no need to slow down to pass moored boats. Just set the lever to 1100 rpm, and in the deeper water the boat glides along causing barely a ripple.
The final lock of the day, was the Robert Aickman new lock. Aickman is a name well known in the Canal world, as he was co-founder of the IWA, Inland Waterways Association. The formation of this group began, following the publication of an equally famous book, Narrow Boat, by Tom Rolt. The actions of these two men, almost certainly prevented the total demise of the Canal network.
It should also be noted, that many of the Locks on the Avon, have been privately funded by generous benefactors, and were built by Borstal Boys.
Half a mile further on, we entered the approach channel for Offenham Lock. There are as at most Locks on the river, flood safe moorings located here. Whether we move tomorrow, will depend to a large part on the weather, heavy rain has been forecast.
There is a pub located here, but unfortunately it is on the other side of the Weir stream. It does appear as if the Weir has been used as a Ford in the past, and is marked on the map as such. Having looked at it, and the flow of water going over it, we have decided not to attempt a foot crossing. As the nearest crossing is about three miles downstream, this pub, is sadly not going to receive any of our business.
Totals 6 Miles 4 Locks
Running total 61 Miles 101 Locks 3 Tunnels