We haven't had the wall to wall sunshine of yesterday, but we've still had a really good day, thanks in no small part to our locking companions. We set off just before 8am; I walked up to set Buckby Bottom Lock, which was half full, and also raised a paddle on the next one up. The bottom half of the flight all had water cascading over the bottom gates. Adrian brought the boat along, and we'd spotted another boat approaching. On occasion in the past we've waited for boats, only to find they turn into the marina! But in this case we were in luck: a boat to share with (an interesting one, at that), and an experienced and chatty couple on board too.
We got into a good rhythm of setting a lock ahead, and in the top half of the flight we met boats coming down. We completed all seven in an hour and forty minutes. We made the turn onto the Leicester Line and the bit which always looks and feels uphill, to Watford Locks. There were a couple of boats coming down, and there were already uphill boats in the pounds above the two single locks; we helped the downhill boats at the bottom lock, so it didn't really feel as if we had to wait at all. As we went up the staircase four, our friends from Buckby were behind us.
At the top, we realised that we'd been quite fortunate to get up the locks so soon; a seventh boat was just joining the queue to go down. We carried on through Crick Tunnel, which as usual was dry at first,mother fairly wet at the northern end, passing one boat inside. Fizzical Attraction was moored up, with Yvonne and Roger on board; just time as we drifted past for a quick chat with Roger about their new boat. Then we made our way along the twisting turning summit pound. Last time we were here, in May, it was a riot of white blossom; now there are berries on the hedgerow bushes, and the fields are harvested. One of the circular bales of straw had some kind of bird of prey sitting on it.
The sky was pretty black at times, but the threatened rain never arrived. We moored on the rings at Welford Junction, where we spent a very quiet and dark night in May. Then, I went and found where the River Avon goes under the canal; this forms the boundary between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, so I know that we're moored a few yards into Leicestershire.
17 miles, 14 locks. (54 miles, 23 locks)