After a restful night and a gentle cheeping to wake us in the morning, we set off at 8am.
Six locks were on the schedule for the day, with our destination Offenham for our overnight stop again.
It looked like it was going to be a glorious day, continuing the promised heat wave.
Hubby and I were now sharing the helm and lock work, and I was really pleased at how well my knee was standing up to the work outs.
Obviously I couldn’t use a stick, but going downstream, we didn’t need the boat hook, just the windlass, and most of it was plain sailing.
It got a little bit windy coming into Bidford so Hubby was at the helm for that one. The water is quite shallow on one side, and you have to zig zag in the river for your navigation channel. Unlike last year when some idiot was coming upriver too fast and nearly hit us, there was still very little traffic on the water.
We were both relaxed, waving at any fishermen or people on the river banks, and enjoying the scenery.
One guy was fishing at the end of the cut leading into the next lock and cursed all ‘barges’ as a damn nuisance. According to our book, the water was too shallow on the opposite side, so all boats had to keep to the side he was fishing on. Actually, he should not have been fishing there at all!
We saw few kingfishers this year, but more herons on this trip than the other two put together.
The locks on this stretch are about half an hour apart, so by midday we were approaching Harvington.
We saw something bobbing in the water in the lock entrance, and thought it to be empty plastic bottles until one waved!
It was two swimmers coming towards us, so by the time we had got the boat into the lock and were ready to open the paddles, they were coming back. We attracted their attention to say we were about to lock down and they could be caught by the undercurrent as the paddles opened, but they informed us they were getting out anyway.
Offenham was just ten minutes away now, so we had made excellent time with no mishaps, collisions, or noticeable errors.
Maggie however was finding it hard to find somewhere cool and was beginning to be a liability in her restlessness as she was forever getting under our feet so we had to secure her below when going through the locks. The boat was already hot inside despite all the doors and windows being open, and in order to keep hydrated, we were drinking water by the pint. I changed Maggie’s water frequently to keep it as cool as possible, but she was really feeling the heat and there wasn’t much else we could do for her.
Surprisingly, she made no effort to go in the water to swim and cool off.
In many ways, it may have helped, but would have added to our problems trying to get her dry. With no electricity hook up, no hair dryer!