Another lovely day to be cruising and we left the Ashby this morning and turned right at Marston Junction onto the Coventry. Nuneaton was made all the more pleasurable when Louise appeared with a bacon & egg sandwich and we arrived at Atherstone locks about 2pm.
Apart from picking up a plastic sack on the prop entering lock 2, everything was going to plan, although we were having to fill each lock as there was a boat ahead.
As we got to lock 6, the boat ahead went down and two CaRT chappies appeared, resplendent in their blue shirts and wielding a windlass each. Great we thought, lockies to assist, especially as one of the bottom paddles was out of order. Our hopes were short lived. 'Shan't keep you long. Be about 20 minutes'
Oh they've come to fix the gate paddle - oh well, its got to be done we thought. But no - they proceeded to bring their working tug into the lock and scrape the weed and algae from the lock gates and walls and pull weeds from between the bricks in the lock walls. The gate paddle was clearly far less important !!!
Now I know it is a job that needs doing, but today the locks were busy. By the time they'd done their 'gardening' there were 3 boats waiting to go down and 6 behind them waiting to go up, the first of which had been behind them since the bottom lock and witnessed the same rigmarole at each lock since. The fact that he had not been allowed, or, even offered the chance to go through, had left him far from amused.
Fortunately, the work was done for the day (it was past 3pm after all) and they moored up right behind an unlicenced cruiser that was in the same spot over 10 days ago when we came through. I wonder if they did anything about that ??
We continued on and moored just past Grendon Dock. John spent the evening with fish crawling up the line and we watched the farmers hard at work with the combines well into the night.