The people we shared Cosgrove Lock with this morning said they'd hardly slept last night because of the wind and rain. We heard nothing. Mind you, I was in bed and asleep before half past eight, thanks to post-night-shift exhaustion. It could also be that we were sheltered by the blocks of flats at Wolverton.
Today is Adrian's birthday (he thanks everyone for the messages on yesterday's blog), so we started with cards and presents. Adrian then made a quick visit to Tesco, and we set off at aboout 9.15am. There had been a little bit of drizzle, but nothing like the heavy rain forecast, and it wasn't even that cold. We said a quick hello to Halfie as we passed Jubilee a little way out of Wolverton, then shared Cosgrove Lock with Trinity, who used to moor in our marina but have moved up to Yelvertoft.
We made a stop at Baxter's to get a pump out -- but it became clear that the pump wasn't working, so we had to abandon the attempt. We did buy a couple of bags of coal. By the time we left, the sun was threatening to come out -- and has made appearances on and off during the day.
It's just as well we weren't planning to stop on the moorings at the bottom of the Stoke Bruerne flight, because they were entirely taken up by anglers.
There were also anglers in every pound up the flight, including on the lock landings, and all along the moorings in the long pound too.
Half way up the flight, we met Herbie coming down. Neil and Kath had been planning to do just the top two locks, but couldn't moor because of the fishing match. We'd been planning to stop and have a catch up, but we're now hoping to do that tomorrow. It was great to see them, even for just a brief time.
The trees are beginning to change colour, and there were some nice autumn colours as we progressed up the flight.
At the top lock, we met Kathryn from Leo No2. We'd been planning to knock on her door, but she was already out by the lock. It was another case of never having met someone before, but feeling you knew them because of the blog. We'll see her again tomorrow too.
We made rapid progress through the tunnel, which wasn't too wet inside, and then carried on to Gayton Junction. We turned right at the junction down the Northampton Arm, and stopped at Gayton Marina for a pump out. It was a very thorough job, with plenty of rinsing through. Afterwards we carried on to the winding hole above the top lock, where we turned and began retracing our steps.
We turned back towards Blisworth at the junction, and have moored near Bridge 49. It's just a short walk from here to The Walnut Tree, where we've got a table booked for Adrian's birthday dinner.
14 miles, 8 locks. (18.5 miles, 9 locks)