Friday, 27 September 2013

Big Trip - Day 32

We had a great evening with Debbie and James from Lois Jane last night, and we can confirm James's reputation as an excellent chef -- particularly as I'm awkward in not liking curry, so he did chicken stroganoff for one in addition to the main menu!  We walked the long way down from the top of the flight to where LJ was moored at the bottom, to see the site of the inclined plane; but we came back the short way in the dark at the end of the evening.

Our mooring at the top of Foxton was right opposite the access arm to the inclined plane, so was a wide expanse of water.  It looked particularly nice in the morning sunshine before we set off.

Although it was sunny, there was also a chilly breeze.  But I was determined not to put another layer on, and it warmed up as the day went on.  The first section of canal from Foxton is lovely, with wide reaching views of the Leicestershire farm land and distant villages.

The first major feature is Husbands Bosworth Tunnel, 1170 yards long, and very straight so you can see the far end.

At Welford Junction, we resisted the temptation of an excursion up the Welford Arm as we've done it at least twice before.  Instead we crossed the aqueduct over the River Avon, and so into Northamptonshire.  Shortly afterwards we passed the bloggers, Jeanie Deans.

The last time we travelled this stretch was in March 2008, when we went to Market Harborough and back on Debdale.  I distinctly remembered the Bridge 32 had looked on the verge on falling down back then, and was pleased to see it had been beautifully rebuilt.  I've just looked up the 2008 photo to compare with today's.

Before long we passed through Yelvertoft and past the marina which wasn't there in 2008.  Then the familiar shape of Crack's Hill came into view, and we were at Crick.  This feels like home waters, having been to the boat show by boat for the past two years.  As we passed the marina we had a brief chat with John and Ali on TriskaidekaWe moored up and walked to the Co-op in the village, mostly because we were down to our last bottle of wine.  As it was only 3pm and quite sunny, we decided to go a couple of miles further.  So it was into Crick Tunnel, the longest on this stretch at 1528 yards.

We passed one boat in the tunnel, who's adopted a strange method of getting through.  He had his bow up against the wall, and as we approached came to a complete halt so his sterm swung out in front of us.  After we'd bumped our way past each other, he carried on, diagonally across the tunnel, with his bow pinned to the wall.  I do wish people would realise that the best way to pass another boat in a tunnel is to keep going; if you stop, you lose all steering and one end or the other will end up in the way of the other boat.

We moored up in the stretch between the railway bridge and Bridge 9, with Home Farm visible through the towpath hedge.  It's a nice sunny spot; the only slight downside is that the M1 is audible.  We're only about half a mile from Watford Locks.  A number of boats have been past, including Ellen who are presumably heading back to Crick.

20 miles, 0 locks.  (413 miles, 249 locks)

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