I set off in the car at 8 this morning, bound for Crick, to pick up my guest crew - Kath and Neil from Herbie. I arrived a bit early, so wandered along the tow path to identify my booked mooring for the show. We arrived back at Thrupp Wharf shortly after 9.30, and set off in blazing sunshine before 10. At Stoke Bruerne locks, we paired with a waiting Napton hire boat, and flew up the flight. Neil and Kath worked the locks with the crew of the hire boat and a couple of volunteer lock keepers. All the locks were in our favour.
At the top lock, a boat was coming down, so we could go straight into that one too.
We stopped above the locks for lunch. I've never seen Stoke Bruerne so empty: between the locks and the tunnel there were only a couple of boats.
After lunch, we headed through the tunnel, completing it in half an hour. It was cool but not cold inside, but it was very wet, with massive amounts of water coming down from the roof. It was still sunny at the other end, but soon we saw a black cloud approaching. Just after Gayton Junction, we passed a boat with a garden in a little boat behind.
Before long the rain started, and while it didn't last too long, at times it was absolutely torrential. We moored for the night at Bridge 28, Standingham Bridge, at about 5.15pm, with the sun out again.
15 miles, 7 locks.