Saturday, 28 December 2013

Up to Blisworth

It was sunny and dry this morning, and we set off at about 9.45am.  Making the turn north out of the marina proved to be a bit more challenging than usual, because of the wind direction.  But once we were on our way the canal looked beautiful.

There were a few indications of the high water levels just before Christmas -- when even out marina was a foot higher than normal.  Water was still going over one of the brick arched spill weirs along the pound, and it was also full of debris.

At the locks, we found a boat which used to be moored just down from us at Thrupp Wharf now has a mooring on the offside.  They said the water there (which is where the River Tove flows across the canal) was four feet higher than normal on Christmas Eve;  it had clearly been up over the lock landings.

The first couple of locks were against us, and then I spotted a boat up ahead -- they agreed to wait for us in the fourth lock.  It turned out to be another boat from Thrupp Wharf, a narrowbeam Dutch barge called Piggin Arkful, which is moving to Braunston.

At the penultimate lock, we crossed with a single hander coming down.  He told us he'd only just bought the boat, and this was his second ever lock.  We gave him some tips, but no doubt he'll be fully proficient by the time he gets to London.

At the top lock we rang Kathryn's doorbell, and she came out to say hello.  After a brief chat we pressed on through the tunnel, which not surprisingly was the wettest it's been for a while.  We moored up just before Bridge 49, on the northern end of Blisworth.

We had a late lunch of breads, cheese, biscuits, ham, and chutney, with champagne.  I said it was a bit like having Boxing Day before Christmas Day.  We're having our 'Christmas' dinner this evening: a duck is in the over roasting.

Tomorrow, we'll turn at Gayton Junction and head back down the locks.  Monday's forecast looks a bit unpleasant (in the morning at least), and I'm back at work on Tuesday.

9 miles, 7 locks.

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