Another lovely sunny morning, which wasn't to last very long. We set off just after 8am, and immediately met a boat at Bridge 102.
An hour later we were making the turn at Braunston. Not long afterwards, we found ourselves following a Napton hire boat which was zigzagging its way along the cut. After a while, they seemed to get the hang of things and also picked up a bit of speed. It was trying its best to rain by this time, although it only ever made a half-hearted attempt.
At the top of the Hillmorton Locks, I got off at the previous bridge hole, to walk ahead and set the lock. The Napton boat was at the top, with both crew clinging onto a rope, and the boat, apparently in reverse, going backwards. While they sorted themselves out, I started work on the locks. Both were empty, with the right hand one also having the bottom gates open. There was nothing coming up, so I began to fill one lock, and closed the gates on the other and began to fill that one too. The Napton boat took the first lock, while we had the right hand one. We were second in but first out, because the Napton boat opened only one paddle.
At the middle locks, both were again empty, and the right hand one again had the bottom gates open. This time, however, a Rose hire boat was just coming round the corner. There was a German couple on board, and she made a great leap off the front of the boat as it approached the lock. I helped them up, and also filled the other lock for the Napton boat.
At the bottom pair, a boat was going down in the left lock while the right hand one was empty with the bottom gates open. I wonder if the offending boat is going to leave gates open for their entire trip? I filled the lock, and then also turned the other one for the Napton boat. We were all but leaving the lock by the time they arrived.
We moored for lunch by the golf course out the outskirts of Rugby, having the remainder of the chili left over from last night. We set off again and did the last remaining few miles back to Brinklow. Back at the marina, we filled with water and generally tidied up. We plan to eat on board, before heading for home.
12 miles, 3 locks