I spent a lazy afternoon at Hartshill, where the British Waterways yard is now looking a little neglected,
certainly compared with twelve months ago:
Hartshill Yard 2010
I wanted to time my arrival at Atherstone top lock such that most traffic would have finished for the day and leaving me with a clear run at the locks. Firstly though I needed water from the very slow tap at the top lock and also needed to empty the toilet cassette and the al-fresco facility there.
No secrets at Atherstone!
The plan worked even better than expected with no boats going down, but a steady stream of uphill boats meaning that I didn't have to stop and close any bottom gates, which is always the most awkward part of the solo-boatman's job in the locks. I was so pleased with this that I didn't really mind when the gas bottle ran out halfway through my evening shower!