Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Post Crick: Day 1

We were up fairly early this morning and ready to leave by about 7.30.  We were soon at Norton Junction and turning left towards Buckby Locks.  We'd planned to stop for water at the top unless a boat came along that we could share the locks with -- and as a boat had come out behind us at the junction and was going our way, we started straight down.

The couple on the boat had sold it, and were taking it to its new owner at Milton Keynes.  They'd put it up for sale on eBay, and the buyer had paid more than they'd expected to get -- in spite of not even having seen it!

We made good progress down, although some of the locks needed filling, and some also had the bottom gates open.  We waited ages at the penultimate lock for two boats to come up the bottom one.  They said they'd forgotten to open all the paddles.  

We carried on at the bottom of the locks towards Blisworth.  At Weedon an Ashby hire boat was approaching the bridge as I came through.  Rather than just slowing and passing each other, the steerer put the boat hard astern, and disap
Eared backwards into the bushes.  That meant his bow swung round, and there was a small coming together of bows.

We'd planned to stop at Weedon for water, but one point already had a boat on it (which once we were past we could see was having a boat wash) and a Wyvern boat was approaching the other tap -- so we postponed again.  We did stop at Rugby Boats for diesel, though, at 66.9ppl basic, which is a lot cheaper than the last time we filled up at the end of September.

At Gayton Junction the water post was free, so I turned and did a bit of a spin so we were facing out of the arm.  We started a wash load and filled the tank.  While that was happening a boat which had come up the Northampton Arm arrived also wanting water, so Adrian said they could moor alongside us and use the other tap.  They'd done the 17 locks up from the Nene having done them down only yesterday.

The boat set off just before us, and we followed it through Blisworth and the tunnel.  The first third of the tunnel was done on tickover, which made it more difficult to steer, so I was surprised that the passage took only about five minutes longer than usual.  We passed two boat's inside, and then Mike's trip boat, Charlie, at the very end.

At the locks, we were alone going down.  Adrian worked this flight, and while he was setting the top lock I rang Kathryn's doorbell and she came out for a chat.  In stark contrast to Watford Locks yesterday, where there are never any gongoozlers, Stoke Bruerne top lock was surrounded by them.

The bridge after the top lock has been hit by a vehicle, and repairs are being carried out.  Scaffolding was being put up, and the tow path that side was closed.

At some point fairly early in the day, Adrian had decided he needed to be at work tomorrow, so we'd been discussing how that was going to work.  It was still a reasonable time when we got to the bottom of the locks, so we decided to carry on to our marina.

After the final lock, the lady from one of the moored boats, Passing Through, showed us her new puppy.  It's a sister of the cockerpoo we met last week at our marina, except that one was amber coloured, and this one is black.  On the water point was Maple, Braidbar no 74, and the owners asked us how Braidbar had done at the show.

When we got to the marina we pulled up outside and Adrian jumped off in the car park.  The pub next door is gradually taking shape, but I can't see that the new extension is going to be finished by the planned opening of early June.

Rather than go into the marina, I carried on to Cosgrove.  The first space beyond the bridge was free so I pulled in.  It's one of the few straight bits of mooring here, but I was disappointed to find that the BT Wifi hotspot no longer seems to be here.

It was around 6.30 by the time I was moored, a day of eleven hours.  Anyone would think we were on a hire boat!

24 miles, 14 locks.  (56 miles, 42 locks)

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