As anticipated, we left our Foxton mooring in full wet weather gear. I did the (easy) swing bridge and G went through with MR and pulled onto the waterpoint before heading up the flight on foot in search a of the Lockie. Couldn't find him, so decided to just carry on by ourselves - set off towards the bottom lock and there he was. It was so filthy that I left Muttley on the boat by himself, but I had to take poor old Baxter with me whilst I lock wheeled. Poor boy looked so sad and bedraggled but I daren't leave him in the cabin on his own through locks any more. Shot up the flight and watered up the top and G decided we'd head towards Welford until he'd had enough - I stayed inside with the boys (the tow path was too filthy and slippery to walk) and prepared two days' worth of food.
Whilst we were watering, we saw a couple of lads in a jet propelled tiny skiff approach the top of the flight; run around a bit with a surveyor's wheely thing and then head back the way they'd come
When we reached the tiny lock on the Welford Arm they were there again, opening the lock for us and then squeezing - and I do mean squeezing - in the lock behind us
They were actually doing a dredging survey and they must have had the filthiest, coldest, shittiest job going - their little skiff was a quarter full of water and had two holes in it. One guy was sat in the flooded skiff and the other guy was trying to walk the tow path with his wheely thing in terrible mud and, in places, at dangerously sloping angles that threatened to tip him into the cut. They were only youngsters but not too depressed to have a bit of banter with us.
The River Avon - just a trickle normally in these parts - starting to look considerably more than a ditch
We moored up at about 3.30 pm, very grateful to be warm and dry with a nice cuppa. No TV signal but I had a good Jodi Picoult book to finish, so that suited me. We watched the poor lads finish the survey up here, then turn around and re-trace their steps. I don't know how much further they had to go but I so wished I'd offered them a tea or coffee and a bite to eat - I was so grateful to be in and settled that I didn't think until it was too late.