Stockton

We had arranged a very civilised 10.30 start with our locking partners for the day, so plenty of time for breakfast, and the administration of tablets and wound cleaning that the furry crew requires presently. Once underway, it was only a short hop to the first Lock.

Approaching Stockton Bottom Lock
Nb. Full Circle close behind

The pub in the picture above is the Two Boats, and as previously stated, their steak and ale pie was very tasty. After completing the first two Locks, we met a few boats descending, which should have meant the Locks would be set in our favour, they were not. The mystery later presented itself in the form of a volunteer lockie, who was refilling the Locks. All the pounds were very low, so presumably an attempt to run some water down the flight. Once through Stockton Top Lock, our intended destination for the day, was only half a mile further on. We said our farewells to Full Circle, then slowly chugged along, passing the RYA training base at Nelson’s Wharf. When we came this way before, a pair of swans had made a nest in the reeds opposite. Today the nest contained two swans, and half a dozen cygnets. We found our spot between bridges 20 and 19 empty, and secured the boat. We are now only a mile from Ventnor Farm Marina, where we will visit tomorrow for services.

Mooring at Stockton, between Bridge 19 and 20

There are actually two Basins at Ventnor Farm, Sunrise and Sunset. We need to enter the first Basin travelling from Stockton, which is Sunset.

Totals 2 Miles 10 Locks

Running total 157 Miles 230 Locks 9 Tunnels

Stockton

Yesterday whilst sunny, was also very windy, so we stayed put near bridge 100, and took four legs for a walk instead of moving. On return to the boat, the sun was shining along the length of the cabin, and it was exposing my poor attempt at waxing, that had been completed, prior to departing Yelvertoft Marina. There was nothing for it, out came the rags for some remedial polishing. This morning the wind had dropped significantly, and the weather was looking pleasant. We set off heading for Wigrams Turn, where we would rejoin the Grand Union Canal.

Cruising through open countryside

After three miles of gentle cruising, we reached Wigrams Turn, turning right onto the Grand Union heading towards Warwick. At least that is what the signpost said. The next few days, will see the crew working numerous Locks, and they are all wide.

Wigrams Turn, junction with the Oxford and Grand Union Canals

We chugged passed a line of moored boats on long term mooring, soon arriving at Calcutt Top Lock. We had been here a few years ago, when our Hurricane diesel heater needed relocating. As we were entering the Lock, another boat arrived, so we had a locking partner for the flight. There were numerous boats both ascending and descending, so cross overs between the Lock pounds, needed some careful manoeuvring.

Waiting to enter Calcutt Top Lock
Held in the pound by Calcutt Boats
Looking back toward the Locks and Calcutt Marina

Once through the flight, we had just a mile to go, to reach our intended mooring spot. This is now new water for us, never having been this way before. We were also surprised, by how narrow the Canal is in places, due to hedge growth on the offside. Especially as this is a wide Canal, and though we have seen several Wide beam boats moored, we have not encountered any moving yet. We arrived at our spot, and secured the boat. We had a late ish lunch, enjoying the peace and tranquility of our surroundings.

Mooring between bridges 19 and 20
View from the side hatch at our mooring

After lunch we wandered off towards Stockton Locks, to give four legs some exercise. On route we encountered this swan and its rather splendid nest. It, and its mate did hiss loudly as we walked past.

This was a round trip of two miles, so it was necessary to take some refreshments at the Boat Inn, on our way back.

Totals 5 Miles 3 Locks

Running total 18 Miles 16 Locks 2 Tunnels