Friday, 19 April 2019

Easter Cruise: Day 2

A really lovely warm and sunny day today.  We set off around 8.30 heading for the Soulbury Three Locks.  A widebeam was in the flight ahead, so we had to turn the bottom lock. At that time of day the pub alongside was deserted.

As we went into the middle lock, a boat moored at the bottom set off, so we waited for them.  I went and set the top lock while we waited.

Beyond Old Linslade, a very wide widebeam was coming towards us, just where another was moored.  He flashed his lights twice, but I had no idea what that meant.  Anyway, he waited as there was more room his side for us to pass each other.  There’s a floating market this weekend along fromThe Globe pub, which looked well attended.  We went up Leighton Lock with the same boat as before, then we both stopped on the Tesco mooring; we needed a trip to the supermarket to get things we hadn’t realised we needed yesterday, and because we have visitors this afternoon.

Setting off again, we reached Grove Lock to find a boat going up and a widebeam waiting.  I went to help with the lock to save the lady from the widebeam having to walk all the way round.  Before long it was our turn to come up.  I can’t remember operating a lock where so many people wanted to walk across the gates, with plenty of pub patrons opting for a walk along the canal.  The Grove pub has very attractive hanging baskets with narrowboat brackets.

There was a similar situation at Church lock but by the time we were in the lock we could see our companions from earlier heading our way, so we waited for them.  The widebeam moored up and our locking partners stopped for lunch before Slapton Lock meaning we were on our own again, but at least the lock was empty.  At the top, we turned in the winding hole beyond the bridge and I reversed along to moor up opposite the farm which has wooden holiday cabins, all of whose guests turned up during the afternoon.  We had a late lunch, then Adrian started making dinner while I washed the side of the boat.  At around 3.15 our visitors arrived: Adrian’s cousin, Fiona, husband, Mark, and children Caitlin and Findlay.  We spent the afternoon chatting, walking to Slapton Lock and Horton Lock and helping boats through at both, and generally trying to wear our the kids.  We had Adrian’s Good Friday macaroni cheese for dinner, before our guests left to continue their journey to Leicester, where they’ve visiting the National Space Centre tomorrow.

9 miles, 7 locks.  (24 miles, 10 locks)

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