Sunday, 29 September 2013

Big Trip - Day 34

Another bright sunny morning, and we treated ourselves to bacon and eggs for breakfast.  Both (bought yesterday from the farm shop at the second lock up the Buckby flight) were excellent.

We set off at just before 8.30, and there were a surprising number of boats on the move already.  In Blisworth, we were fortunate to be at a wide section when the widebeam hotel boat Tranquil Rose came in the opposite direction.  At 70ft long and 12ft 6in wide, I would have thought that Stoke Bruerne, Blisworth, and Braunston would be anything but tranquil.

We went through the tunnel without meeting anything coming the other way.  The side shaft was clearly visible today, complete with the apparent light at the end.  The moorings in Stoke Bruerne were as empty as we've ever seen them: just three boats between the museum and the tunnel.  A couple of spaces right by the tunnel and now designated as tunnel waiting only -- for what purpose, I'm not sure.

Two boats were coming up the top lock, so Adrian popped into the museum shop while we waited.  Progress down the flight was good, meeting boats at every lock.

There was a slight hiatus around the middle of the flight, when the pair going down in front of us decided to leave the gates open for uphill boats which were still a few locks away.  We had time to make tea in the pause.  Later, boats passed included Kala, Braidbar no 107, whom we last met in Birmingham a couple of years ago.

We made it to the foot of the flight in an hour and a half, and set off on the familiar plod along to Thrupp Wharf.  We had mixed feelings: sad that our Big Trip was over, but determined to enjoy the final day, especially as it was so sunny.  Consequently, we decided to stop just short of the marina and have lunch.  We noticed that the farmers have been busy harvesting in the time we've been away.

At the marina, the wind was blowing quite strongly in an unhelpful direction, but we managed to reverse into our berth using the second choice of approach.  It didn't take long to pack up the boat, load the car, and head for home.

10 miles, 7 locks.  (438 miles, 270 locks)


nb Chance said...

Glad you had a good month, you certainly had the weather! Great to see you both last week and look forward to seeing you when we get home!

Nb Yarwood said...

I am sorry that it is over for you both but you have had a great time with wonderful weather to match. look forward to you next excursion.
X lesley

Ian and Karen said...

We've enjoyed following your Big Trip, thanks for sharing it with us.

Blue Moon said...

We have really enjoyed following your trip on here. Two very good friends and colleagues of ours, Dan & Lesley, originally commissioned Kala. They now live in New Zealand and have a small holding and breed chickens...bit of a different lifestyle. I've forwarded them the photo...hope you dont mind, but they'd be very interested to see it.

John & Louise x

Carol Palin said...

An epic cruise indeed - looking forward to following the next one!