It's been a fantastic day of boating. We woke to another sunny day, and set off at 8am. Half an hour later we started up the locks at Stoke Bruerne, meeting boats at the second lock and the top (including another Braidbar, Load of Hay).
Approaching the tunnel, the moorings were the emptiest I've ever seen. We waited for Cyprus to wind, although once he was well in the winding hole he called us past. It was nice and cool in the tunnel.
At Gayton Junction, we turned right onto the Northampton Arm. It's new water for us (except that I've done a couple of boat tests from Blisworth Marina, when we've gone along to the top lock and back). At Gayton Marina they were lifting a boat out of the water, so we had to hold back slightly.
Just above the next lock is a rare stretch of piling, so as it was 12.30 we stopped for lunch for an hour or so.
The next stretch is also quite pretty. We saw a family of swans, and the water was so clear we also saw fish and crayfish. The Express Lifts Tower dominates the skyline.
As we approached Northampton, the scenery deteriorated a little, and we saw a few drunks and kids. But we were soon at the lock onto the River Nene, with the Carsberg brewery in the background.
On the river, we made the short trip through a couple of bridges to the new marina at Becket's Park. We moored on the visitor moorings, then went to the office to pay our fee and get a one day river licence. It's a very nice marina, and we have water and electricity.
We made a quick trip to Morrison's, which is just a few minutes walk away, to top up on salad stuff mostly, but otherwise we've been enjoying the sunshine and (even more) the breeze.
11 miles, 24 locks. (14 miles, 24 locks)