We left through the still leaky Crick Tunnel meeting only one hire boater en-route. There is a skew bridge just outside the tunnel and we beeped our horn as a boater was across the cut manoeuvring, so it seemed. It turned out that he was reversing back under the bridge to kindly let us pass, but didn’t think to indicate to us what he intended to do. Anyway we did all of two miles and moored just beyond Bridge 9 in a quiet spot on a sweeping bend. There are sheep neighbours in the field opposite making a lovely tranquil view captured here from the galley porthole. Saying that, we can just about here the buzz of the traffic on the nearby M1 passing by Watford Gap Services.
The towpath was level, grassy and wide enough here for this boater to be able to paint under his gunnels with a brush attached to a long cane and then to paint his pole. I was preparing the dinner when there was lots of revving on the canal outside which made Oakfield rock. On looking out there was a young boy steering an Alvechurch hire-boat at speed. He had managed to narrowly miss the boat in front, and us luckily, and was heading straight for the armco on the bend behind us. The chap on the back quickly took over the controls of the boat and put it in full reverse to avoid a collision. Why do hire-boaters think that their children are capable of being in charge of a 70 foot, 20ish ton boat we wonder? Especially passing other boats and under narrow bridges! If there had been an accident their insurance may be invalid, but of course they don’t consider things like that, do they?