Saturday 18 May 2024

Pre-Crick: Day 3

Gayton Junction continued to provide entertainment yesterday evening.  Another hire boat went the wrong  way — this time turning towards Weedon when they wanted Stoke Bruerne.  However, their reversing and getting the right direction was really good.  Later on, Catherine and Nigel came for a drink or three; we haven’t seen them since Christmas Eve, so we had quite a lot to catch up on.

This morning, we did our own turn in the junction.  I gave the stern a good shove off, and we spun round very neatly, heading back under the junction bridge.

Back through Blisworth Tunnel, it was just as wet as yesterday.  At the locks, a Gayton hire boat was setting the top lock — and it turned out to be the one mentioned above: a boat-load of people from Stockholm, who were also sailors, which might explain why they had some idea what they were doing.  This was their first lock ever, though, so they had lots of advice from many quarters.  A volunteer lock keeper also joined us, so I ended up going down to set the next lock.  In fact, I worked ahead the whole way down.  In the main part of the flight, Adrian suggested some synchronised boating, which worked well.

We caught up with a single boat towards the bottom of the flight, so I set the bottom lock for them.  All in all, we had a very quick passage through the locks.  At the bottom, we carried on, then moored up at a favourite spot before Bridge 63, where we lined up the dinette window with the footpath through the hedge.  We had lunch, as the sun finally came out.  We have had a busy afternoon.  I decided the bow needed some attention, with the red paint on the nose and the bow flashes having faded a lot.

I rubbed down the red sections, then masked it all up.  The curves took quite a time, and kneeling on the bow to do it was murder on the knees!

Then out came the paint and the roller.  At the same time, Adrian had washed the towpath side of the boat, and while the paint dried we put some polish on.  Then it was time to take the masking tap off and put the button back on.  It’s not perfect, but it looks a lot better.

8 miles, 7 locks.  (17 miles, 14 locks)

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