|Reversing "Sickle" back to give "Greyhound" a "snatch" of the rocks.|
Fortunately the owners at Alvecote were perfectly happy for Sickle to stay berthed there securely for a couple more weeks, until we could fetch her home, independent of our hurried run South with just Chalice.
|"Lamprey" first of a string of ex working boats we passed today.|
|"Sickle" at Atherstone, having just passed "Tench".|
On Saturday we finally got to settle the bill for the hull blacking they had done for us on Sickle, but were then asked to help tow the Josher Greyhound back off an underwater obstruction that it had managed to get stemmed up on. In practice once I had grappled with reversing Sickle the required distance, (she is much harder to reverse than an unshortened working boat!), pulling Greyhound off was easy, but, despite owning a tug, one doesn't often get involved in such things.
|Empress, the last of the historic boats passed.|
A feature of the day was other working boats coming the other way - I failed to photograph some of them well enough, but we passed Lamprey and Canis Major near Grendon, Tench and Ilford in the Atherstone flight, and later on Whitby and then Empress. Presumably most were returning from the previous weekend's event at Shakerstone - one we could not possibly squeeze into Sickle's timetable this year.
|Completuing the 180 degree turn at Hawkesbury Junction.|
To tired to press on, and with the light fading, I made a bodged attempt to reverse back through a bridge, and was feeling pretty grumpy having to tie Sickle up in a spot so shallow, I could barely make the leap to the bank. Fortunately though things improved when we took a walk to the local pub - yes they could do very suitable food. So we settled to a very relaxed meal, and, although knackered, I managed to let thoughts of broken gear linkages, or boats that hog limited available moorings, slip from my head. I even managed not to fall in, trying to get across the gap from muddy bank to boat, as we returned quite a bit later!
Alvecote (Coventry Canal) to Ansty (Northern Oxford Canal)
Miles: 22.0, Locks: 12
Total Miles: 524.0, Locks: 312 (Worked)
(I'm treating the delayed return of Sickle as part of the overall summer trip with both boats).