Thursday 23 May 2024

Pre-Crick: Day 8

The noise from the motorway and the trains didn’t keep us awake, but we were up quite early and set off at 7.15.  It was dull and a bit chilly, but at least it wasn’t raining.  I walked up to the bottom lock, which needed emptying.  As Adrian brought Briar Rose towards it, a chap on a boat moored outside the marina asked if he could come up with us.  He was moving the boat to Gloucester for friends, but was single-handing, so it meant quite a bit of extra work for me, opening gates etc.

It wasn’t until the penultimate lock that we met a boat coming down, then at the top lock a huge widebeam had just come down.  By the time we were up, there were four boats waiting to come down.  We moved onto the water point, got a wash load going, and topped up the tank.  It’s a nice fast tap here, and I suspected the water points at the top of Watford and at Crick would be in demand.  Once we were full, we set off again, and turned right at Norton Junction.

The moorings round the corner were surprisingly empty — often there’s not a single space.  The section between the junction and Watford Locks is always longer than I remember, even though I’m aware I always think that!  At the locks, boats were going up in front of us, with one waiting.  The lock keeper said we could follow.  The boat immediately ahead was Renfrew, which was the boat used in the film, Wonka.

We did the two single locks, then the pound before the staircase was really low, meaning the water from the lock set up some strong currents, making getting into the staircase even more tricky than usual.

We made good progress and were soon at the top, where a couple of boats were about to come down.  We carried on a little way, then moored up for lunch, and because we didn’t really need to get to Crick yet.  When we set off again, we had just a couple of bridges to pass through before the tunnel.

We passed one boat in the tunnel, then out the other side a mooring manager was able to tell us which berth number we had been assigned.  We’re again on a single mooring rather than a breasted up one, which is nice; it’s a couple of spaces further from the road bridge than last year.  We went along to the marina entrance to turn around, and retraced our steps to our spot.  When the next boat arrived, there wasn’t enough room for them, so a boat which had moored when no-one else was here had to be moved along a bit.  We wandered over to the show site to see what was going on, and bumped into a few people we knew.  There was lots of last minute prep going on.

7 miles, 14 locks.  (45 miles, 35 locks)

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