19th July 2020
We leave our mooring at the top of Cape Locks at around 9am and make our way to the Stairway to Heaven. Today, Hatton Locks are a flight of 21 wide locks and form part of the Grand Union Canal. The flight spans just less than 2 miles (3.2 km) and has a total rise of 148ft (45m) When the canal first opened in 1799, it was known as the Warwick and Birmingham Canal, built to carry locally mined coal to the power stations and factories of the Black Country. Originally a narrow canal, it wasn’t until 1932 that the narrow locks were modernised and widened using concrete, a revolutionary new material in canal building.
Before setting off I prepare a chicken to roast and all of the vegetables for a roast dinner. I set my timer on my phone to take out the chicken which was ready half way up the locks, and when we arrive at the top of the locks while filling our water tank I par boil all of the veg and put them in the oven. It was lovely to smell the chicken cooking while ascending the locks!
It took us about 20 mins to reach the bottom of the Hatton Flight and we had decided to wait for a lock buddy to ascend the flight. However when we arrived, Neil and Jackie on NB Eleanor Jane were waiting at the bottom of the locks for a locking buddy! Great!! We managed the whole 21 locks in 3 hours and we were at the top filling our water tank by 12.10. The day was spoiled however by a rude boater who accused us (me as I was packing away the hose pipe) of washing our boat on the water point!! Not sure where he got that notion from, I suspect he was jealous of our shiny boat!
Now we are heading north westerly, we pass through Shrewley Tunnel with its unusual horse tunnel and a deep cutting before mooring near Rowington between bridges 61 and 62. We have travelled just 5 miles. Dinner was served 15 minutes after we moor up!!