Wednesday 22 May 2024

Pre-Crick: Day 7

It rained all night, and was still raining this morning.  I was up early, and we slipped out of our berth at a couple of minutes before 7am.  It was very still, so the turn out of the marina was easy, but it was very dull and wet.

It took the usual 90 minutes to get to the bottom of Stoke Bruerne locks.  The bottom couple had some water in, the next one was full, but the next two were almost empty.  By setting ahead, we made good progress.

As we were almost up the fifth lock, three volunteer lock keepers arrived, amazed to see anyone on the move in the rain!  One of them radioed to their colleague at the top two lock, so she could set the next one.

The lockie went to set the top lock, so with her help we got to the top in an hour and 20 minutes, which is good going.

Before the tunnel, there was a lot of water coming into the canal from a feeder immediately before the old blacksmith’s place; I don’t recall seeing the like before.  The tunnel itself was drier than the outside, but the feed at the other end was running really well.

We plodded through Gayton Junction, and Adrian started making a chilli.  However that (and another cup of tea) had to wait as the gas ran out.  We pulled in outside Heyford Fields Marina, where we’d arranged for Dave (Mr Eberspacher) to have a look at our heater.  It’s been playing up, not for the first time.  Dave was out, so Josh came down and plugged in a diagnostic thing, which came up with a very rare error code.  Josh took the Eberspacher out, and we had lunch while we waited.  The plan had been to install a loan heater, but in fact Josh and Dave (who was now back) had diagnosed that ours needed a new brain — so they had installed a loan brain into our heater, and would put ours back in while a new brain was ordered.  A rest run showed it now worked, so we could set off again.

We were at Heyford Fields for just over an hour, and strangely all the time we were there it didn’t rain.  As we set off again, the rain re-started on and off.  At one point, there was an absolutely torrential downpour.

We got to the bottom of Buckby Locks at gone 4pm.  We’d normally try to get up the locks on this day of the Crick trip, but we’d had enough, and decided to stop.  It’s not a favourite mooring because of the M1 and the railway line, but it’s fine.  Since we stopped, there’s been a little bit of sunshine.

20 miles, 7 locks.  (38 miles, 21 locks)

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