Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Leaving Crick - day 1

We had a good evening at The Moorings last night with the other Braidbar owners, but we didn't have a late night because we needed to be up early this morning.

Adrian set off for work at 6.30; my crew, Kath and Neil, arrived at 7.30, and we set off straight away.  I was a lovely sunny morning, and Crick Tunnel wasn't too wet.  We arrived at the top of Watford Locks in under an hour, and found no-one else waiting.  The lock keeper was already on duty -- he told us that he'd opened the locks at 7 (and they hadn't been open all night) and about ten boats had already gone down.  Neil booked us in with the lockie and we set off.  Within a few minutes, another four boats had arrived behind us.  We made rapid progress, catching up a boat in front.

We turned left at Norton Juntion, and stopped at the water point to fill the tank using the fast tap there.  We'd decided that when a boat turned up we'd stop watering and go down with them; in the event, a boat arrived and the man said they'd have breakfast while they waited for us -- his wife had apparently only just got up.  We set off down the locks together at about 10.30, and soon started meeting boats coming up.

The only frustration was a pair of hire boats  going down ahead, who left the bottom gates open.  Even so, we were at the bottom at 12.  The section alongside the M1 was unusually quiet: the northbound carriageway was almost at a standstill.  We stopped for lunch before Weedon, and just moments after we'd come inside, the heavens opened.  We got wet a couple of times during the afternoon, but at other times it was sunny and quite warm.

We stopped for the night just beyond Bridge 49 at Blisworth at 5pm, having got much further than we'd ever expected.  It's been a nice evening, and we've even had the side hatch open.

18 miles, 14 locks (45 miles, 35 locks)

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