As previously mentioned our daughter and her family arrived on Friday evening, with her two dogs. Wow a tight fit on our 50′ boat! The weather is still very warm so we were able to use the stern hood like a tent for extra bed space and leave the doors open.
We had moored back at the Premier Inn slot we had before. Handy for shops and a short walk into Stratford town. We went to town on Saturday, and I showed them the sights we had learnt about on the Stratford walk. We went back on Sunday and found a market going on and sand sculpture that the kids participated in, followed by football on the green. An adventure playground proved popular and the paddling pool was just too good to resist despite having no towel or swimmies. Now this is where the adventure begins. We woke at 2am to find the boat listing at a near 45 degree angle, and glasses falling off the worktop and smashing on the floor. Charlie and I managed to get out, and looking at the lock in front found that someone had opened fully both top and bottom paddles, so the long pound we were in was drained of water;not totally but enough to push us onto mud and tip the boat. There was a hire boat in front in a similar position, but being crewed by a bunch of lads I suspect they were asleep due to alcohol. The boats opposite on the linear moorings seemed ok, but we had to act to get us floating upright again. Paddles closed at the lock, then armed with windlass and torch I walked 3/4 of a mile with my daughter to the previous lock to let some water down. Forgot the phone, so we started to walk back to see if what we had done was enough, when we heard someone coming toward us. Pretty scared we shouted out at this person with me brandishing the windlass; it turned out to be Charlie; phew; lucky we didn’t hit him! Back to boat for phone and son in law, then back to lock. Bearing in mind we were all in our PJ’s we were glad no one was looking. 45 mins later the call came to say we were floating again. It was now 4.30am. Cup of tea needed and toast. Family tucked back up in bed again; Charlie and myself got dressed and decided we would move down to the bridge just before Bancroft basin, once it got lighter. 6am we reversed to Valley Wharf to the services, and then down through 4 locks, all but the last had the paddles open. I was told by a dog walker that a CRT operative opened the paddles at 9pm. Strange because they never open them fully or leave them overnight. The other drama on the way was nearly getting stuck in a lock because the gate wouldn’t open enough. Poor paintwork certainly taking a hammering. Once we had moored we walked into the basin and complained to a CRT worker.
Tired and teasy we went to the park and pool with a picnic this time and the correct attire. All slept well that night.
Tuesday back to the park and pool, lunch out of fish n chips, followed by a rather large ice cream!
I only have these 2 photos of the children with the Stratford Knight. I took the kids back to the park at 5pm for an hour and a half, and on our return we all went to a pub about 100 yards away, and the children found more children to play with. We had a late tea last night.
Today the family have gone, and we have moved into the basin. We had a fair bit of tidying and cleaning after having so many people and animals on board. We walked into town and purchased a new whistling kettle, as ours is disintegrating somewhat. A mishmash lunch to use up all the leftovers, and a quiet afternoon. Tomorrow we need to prepare the boat for the river and get life jackets, life ring and anchor all available, oh and purchase our license for the Avon. We have 3 weeks to get from Stratford to Droitwich Spa ready for our next lot of visitors and a journey to Cornwall.
This evening a boat pulled into the basin and we were surprised to see NB Georgina, one of the boats who did the BCNS explorer cruise on June. Good to catch up with them.