Sunday, 16 August 2015

One-way weekend: Day 3

A much sunnier morning than forecast greeted us when we woke up. After scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast, we set off a bit before 9am -- us on the boat, and Brian and Mike determined to walk the whole way. We pulled in briefly at the Elsan to empty the 'p-can', and then it was on to Braunston Turn, with Adrian acting as lookout. There was nothing coming, so we turned left. Looking back, there's a great view of Braunston church.

One of my favourite bits of canal trivia concerns this section between Braunston and Wigram's, which is shared between the Graund Union and the Oxford. We were heading north on the GU -- but if we'd been on the Oxford, we'd have been going in the same direction but heading south! Anyway, the countryside is lovely, enhanced by the warm sunshine.

After a couple of hours we reached Wigram's Turn, or Napton Junction, and made the right hand turn onto the GU towards Birmingham.

Brian and Mike were waiting for us at Calcutt locks. They'd been there fifteen minutes, so had had time for a coffee from the machine at Calcutt Boats.Two boats had just gone down the top lock, so we and the crew of a Viking Afloat hire boat from Rugby refilled it and then we went down.

By now the middle lock was empty so we waited for a pair of boats who were coming up the bottom lock. At the bottom of the flight, the Viking boat headed off on the Warwickshire Ring, while we turned into Calcutt Marina. Adrian had already been into the office to find out where we should go -- which was at the back of the original marina. I did a nice turn to come along side the boats already there, when the owners of the outside boat asked if we'd mind swapping with them (so they were still on the outside, and not between two boats) as they are there for another few weeks with engine trouble. So we pulled away again, hovered while the other boat was pulled and poled along a bit, and then we slotted into the space.

Once tied up, it didn't take to long to pack up. Then it was in the car back to our own marina for Brian and Mike to collect their car. We thought about having lunch in the newly refurbished Navigation Inn next to the marina. But it was packed; so we stopped at a garden centre in Buckingham on the way home.

We'll be back at Calcutt in a couple of weeks to start the big autumn cruise.

6 miles, 3 locks. (32 miles, 23 locks)

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