Entering the Stratford Canal from the Avon is a bit of a surprise - most of the bridges are extremely low (everything has to be taken off the boat roof, chimneys, bikes etc) and the helmsman, or woman in this instance, has to crouch down even if they're only 5' 2"! And, as well as that, it's a narrow canal rather like the Llangollen and Wren hasn't been on one of those for about 6 weeks. A bit of adjustment was required.
Peter's plumbing work was unfinished but it was agreed to move off the river in order to try and find the necessary spare parts at a nearby boat yard. However, just as the decision to move was made the rain started to fall, at first in spits and spots but then gradually turning into a steady downpour. As the outskirts of Stratford were left behind the canal started climbing north through the Wilmcote locks and over two small cast iron aqueducts (not quite Pontcyllsylte).
Once the night's mooring was secured at Wootton Wawen (a funny name) and it had finally stopped raining Handyman Peter climbed into his overalls and got down and dirty in the engine bay trying to fix the little plumbing problem. After a short break for tea it was back to work (for Peter) until about 10pm. By then Wren's waterworks were functioning again if not absolutely perfect - she is 30 years old after all and she's had a busy couple of months.
On Wednesday morning the crew awoke to glorious sunshine but it didn't last although it wasn't as bad as Tuesday with just one heavy shower at lunchtime. There are a number of unusual lock cottages with barrel shaped roofs on this canal and most of them are located in very attractive surroundings - it really is a lovely canal and one it's been really nice to revisit.
At Kingswood Junction there is a choice of routes; straight on up the Lapworth flight of locks or turn right to meet the Grand Union. Both head towards Birmingham and each link up with other canals. The crew held a strategic planning meeting and it was agreed to leave the narrow but beautiful Stratford to explore the wide and unfamiliar Grand Union but not before finding a suitable mooring for the night with a good pub nearby as recommended by a man Peter got chatting to on the final lock.