Thursday, 22 May 2014

Pre-Crick -- Day 3

Back to yesterday evening first of all, when we had a visit from my second cousin, Catherine, and family, as they live just a few minutes from where we were moored.  It's great how the kids, Grace and Matthew, just come into the boat and make themselves at home now, without any shyness at all.  Matthew was particularly excited about coming to see us in the evening, as he hadn't done that before!

There was heavy rain overnight.  By the time we left at around 8am, it was looking pretty miserable behind us, but much more promising up ahead.  We did the top lock at Buckby, then headed for Norton Junction.  Braunston is to the left, but we turned right onto the Leicester Arm.

Before long the clouds cleared and the sun came out.  Waterproof trousers and coat came off too.  The countryside is pretty, but what the photo doesn't show is the roar of the M1 which is never far away.

Arriving at the bottom of the Watford Locks we were amazed to find no-one waiting.  I walked up to find the lock keeper, who was near the top, and booked us in.  He said we could come up the first two locks, which are singles, but we'd have to wait while boats came down the staircase of four locks.  So we moored below the staircase and waited for about an hour while four boats came down.  I re-set the second lock each time, to speed them on their way.

Then it was our turn to go up, by which time there were at least three more boats behind us.

Above the locks, once you get underneath the M1, it's pretty rural.  I spotted a green woodpecker in a field, then lost it, then spotted it again.  Consequently, I have just two rather poor photos.

We'd been warned by another boat that Crick tunnel was very wet inside.  They obviously haven't done Blisworth Tunnel after rain, because it wasn't that bad at all.  It's just the last couple of hundred yards which give you a soaking.

We wanted to top up the water tank as we'll now be here for the show at the weekend, and we had to wait for a few minutes while other boats sorted themselves out.  When the tank was full, we set off to find our booked mooring.  There are signs in the hedge, but they're too small to read from the boat, so Adrian got off at the bridge and walked along to identify our spot.  To get there I had to negotiate the temporary bridge which is built each year for the show.

We're tied up outside Farne, just like we were at Higher Poynton last September.

We had a quick lunch, then Adrian headed off to meet a taxi to take him to Rugby railway station.  He's got meetings in London this afternoon and tomorrow.

Since then it's mostly rained, with a few rumb,e's of thunder.  I'm going with the rest of the Braidbar bunch into Crick later, for a meal at the pub.

6 miles, 8 locks.  (28 miles, 21 locks)

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