We drove up to the boat first thing this morning, with the journey seeming to take quite a long time. Briar Rose was back in the water at Heyford Fields, and moored on the far side of the marina. As well as blacking, we’ve had a full engine service (I do the oil changes myself but it’s good to have a proper once-over every now and again) and we’ve had a new prop to replace one that was full of dings. It was about 10.15 when we left the marina, and turned left for Crick. Of course the good thing about starting from Heyford Fields is that it’s two thirds of a day closer to Crick than our home base.
By Flore Lane Bridge is a funny little house, which I’ve always thought of as being 1970s, but it could be earlier. Over the past couple of years it has been completely gutted, but now it’s finished, and looks fantastic, with modern floor to ceiling windows, glass balustrades, and stylish furniture. It’s an upside down house, with the living accommodation upstairs and the bedrooms below.
We soon got to Buckby Locks, having had lunch on the move. Bizarrely, we ended up sharing with three different boats. Boats were coming out of the bottom lock as we arrived so we went in and waited for a boat we could see in the distance. It turned out to be Snoozy Bee, with a chap on board who was also going to the show to help Gary and Dave from Boating Leisure Services. The next couple of locks also had boats coming down, but then we needing to turn a couple. We’d also caught up with a single handler, so we did a couple of locks with him. At the top lock there was already a boat waiting to go up, so we went with them as the single handler said he was planning to moor at the junction. We turned right onto the Leicester Line, and continued to Watford Locks where there was no queue and the lock keeper said we could go straight up.
It had been nice and sunny all day but by now was also warm. We carried on to through Bridge 9 and moored up in a nice sunny spot. The M1 isn’t too close, there are sheep on the other side of the canal, and Home Farm is through the towpath hedge.
11 miles, 14 locks.