Today the little fleet is very much back to normal routine in its endless odyssey, currently in a southerly direction after entertaining its many recent visitors over the last two weeks.
Though it is thoroughly enjoyable and great fun to have people aboard at any time, afterwards the return to the rigours of a normal working pattern is equally as pleasurable; because it is normal and the members of the team can relax into their everyday life. This is not to be complacent so much as to be able to unwind in a daily programme to which they are now very accustomed.
Yesterday this had been even easier for us as the Sun shone brightly all day. Even so there was the crispness of Autumn in the air and when we had tied up outside the ‘Tame Otter’ Pub in Hopwas I felt sufficiently cool enough to light the Saloon fire for the first time. However I didn’t make it up before I went to bed otherwise it would have felt uncomfortably hot during the night, but the evening chill was just sufficient to warrant the brief glowing warmth of the ‘Squirrel’.
Dappled but bright sunshine during the morning
This morning we set off again with the Sun shining hazily through a thin layer of high cloud. The BBC weather forecast wasn’t good but we hoped to cover most of our day’s cruise with the Sun as our happy companion. The air was very calm and ‘Futurest’ was silent as she slid gracefully through the water. There was the steady throb only of the Russell Newberry to assist me in my reverie.
At Fazeley Junction the two little ships topped up fresh water tanks while their skippers enjoyed an early lunch before slipping their moorings once more and entering the Coventry Canal.
All through the morning we had enjoyed beautiful weather but just as we began to work the locks at Glascote, Sod’s Law took over and it began to rain in earnest. Everything was wide open on ‘Futurest’ so I had to abandon working the Bottom Lock and dash back aboard to batten down all the hatches.
Battling through the rain in the afternoon
The rain’s been battering us ever since.
So by three o’clock we had all had enough and we have tied up near the ruins of Alvecote Priory.
It’s become cooler again as well so I have since re-lit the fire so that all is now warm and cosy.