Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Return Trip - Day 3

The moorings at Nether Heyford are very peaceful -- you can only just hear the trains, which is a bit of a rarity down this stretch.  This was the view from the window, with a rather threatening sky.  I decided not to include the huge pylon!

It hammered down with rain overnight, but by this morning it had stopped.  There was just a bit of moisture in the air, and it was dank and misty.  We set off about 8.30.  It never really seemed to get light, but the vegetation is very green at the moment.

It was about an hour and a half before we saw another moving boat.  At Blisworth tunnel I approached rather carefully after meeting a boat right at the portal last time.  Sure enough, as I lined up there was hooting from the tunnel and a Willow Wren hire boat emerged closely followed by an ex-OwnerShips.  They both told us it was very wet inside, but to us it seemed relatively dry compared with recent passages.  We passed three boats in the tunnel, the first of which seemed to be going very slowly, much to the annoyance of the two following.

At the top lock at Stoke Bruerne a pair of boats was coming up.  By the time they'd risen, another boat had arrived going our way so we paired up.  Holly is owned by a nice couple, and we chatted a lot as we went down the locks.  The two boats did some synchronised boating to move from one lock to the next.

In the lower half of the flight we met pairs of boats at several locks, making life easier.  At the bottom, we moored up to have lunch.

We set off again at 2pm, and very shortly afterwards the rain started.  It was pretty persistent, by at least there wasn't any wind.  There were a few boats on the move, mostly hire boats from Willow Wren, Gayton, and Napton, and none of the steerers looked particularly happy.  I guess I looked more or less the same myself.  Of course we met a couple of the boats at tricky places where there were offside trees narrowing the channel.

We got back to the marina about 3.30, and the lack of wind made it pretty easy to get into our berth.  By 4pm we were tied up and connected to the shore power.

It's been great going to the Crick Show by boat.  Adrian was a bit bored for the first day and a half while I was busy looking at boats, but we had some great evenings meeting old and new friends.  All in all it was a very social time.

Adrian has gone home ready for work tomorrow.  I'm also working tomorrow, but I'm going from the boat as it's quicker.  Also, I might be doing a boat test on Saturday, and the midlands is much closer to that too.

15 miles, 7 locks.  (28 miles, 21 locks {that's one mile more than the trip to Crick, because of going to the winding hole!})

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