We discovered late yesterday that we had a split tin of blacking in one of the front lockers and did what we could to minimise the mess, but decided on just a short cruise today so we could do a proper clean up job, so we left Alvecote this morning went through Polesworth, and moored at the bottom of Atherstone locks on the visitor moorings there. Neither of us felt like tackling the locks today as we are still suffering the after effects of our colds so we set to and emptied the front locker, putting aside all the stuff that needed cleaning up, and putting the stuff that was just too covered in blacking to save in a black bin bag. Next using a scraping stick and copious amounts of kitchen roll, Rog scraped up as much of the blacking as he could, leaving just a thin covering of it in the bottom of the locker, which we have left empty and open in the hope that it will dry enough to replace stuff later today. After we had cleaned up the rest of the stuff with white spirit, we cleaned ourselves up – that blacking gets everywhere! We then rewarded ourselves with a cup of coffee and sat in the sunshine and watched the world and his wife queue for the bottom lock!
Pretty meadow full of poppies and other wild flowers that we passed on the way today.
Queue for Atherstone bottom lock, one in and 3 waiting – Rog decided to do his good deed for the day and went up and helped 2 single handers through the lock. Shortly afterwards our German ‘friends’ on the Anglo Welsh that we encountered yesterday appeared – there were at least nine of them on board, possibly 10! The chap we spoke to yesterday asked Rog why everyone was opening the top paddles only half way at first and he explained about the surges of water that pull the boat backwards and then shoot it forwards. The chap just shrugged and said ‘But you have an engine’. They then proceeded to make a right hash of the lock, forgetting to shut the bottom paddles before opening the top ones, and wondered why they weren’t going up! Did we laugh? Of course not!!!
4.6 miles and 0 locks