Saturday, 25 March 2017

Blacking Weekend: Day 2

We woke to sunshine but a chilly wind. Having had breakfast, we set off at 9am towards Cosgrove Lock. This is Mike's photo -- in which the sky looks amazing.

Brian and Mike walked all the way from there to Stoke Bruerne locks, which is a good few miles. Along the way we saw Fields of tiny lambs.

We gave our guests a necessary coffee at the bottom of the locks, and then set off. It soon became clear that we were following a boat up, which turned out to be a widebeam. It also became clear that they were having trouble with low pounds up ahead. The problem seems to have been that the lock by the A508 bridge has new bottom gates, with new paddle gear -- which is very stiff. That means it's easy to not fully wind down the paddles, meaning the pound above is drained. So with up waiting in that lock, and the widebeam in the one above, I ran some water down through the lock from the long pound.

The long pound was also getting quite low, so I phoned Kathryn and asked her if she could run some water down from the Stowe Hill pound. After a bit of a pause, we were on the move again, and we met up with Kathryn below the second lock. Stoke Bruerne was busy in the lovely spring weather.

We moored up just beyond Sculptor for lunch, and Kathryn joined us -- so we had a very merry hour or so. We set off again at around 2.30 for the tunnel, which was very cold and wet. We came through Gayton Junction and continued to a spot we haven't moored at before, just short of the new Banbury Lane Bridge. Here the trains aren't quite as noisy. This evening we have a roast going in the oven.

12 miles, 8 locks. (14 miles, 9 locks)