Sunday, 1 August 2010

Thursday 29th July

12 miles, 13 locks, 1 tunnel

A much longer day than planned, but glad I did.
Went through the Braunston and Buckby flights today and had tremendous help through both – I neglected to get any details on the Braunston flight but there were 5 people on lock duty, so no problems at all and a lovely couple with the boat .
Then at the Buckby flight I was with nb Tamora – a husband and wife who again were really great – we would have been a bit quicker than the 2+ hours if it wasn’t for every lock having another pair coming up after the pair in front eventually got through – but hey, it isn’t a race and there was no-one hurt in the making of this passage.
Through Weedon, where I would like to stop – maybe on the way back and to a nice and hopefully quiet spot just beyond Bridge 29 – the combination of road and rail ruled many other moorings immediately out.
Just after I had moored up I was noticed by Elizabeth and John from nb Helen Louise who enquired about the Aussie flag and it not being present – they are good friends of Dot and Derek Canvin, from whom I had purchased Gypsy Rover - so we had a chat for almost an hour.
This reminds me I have neglected to mention the website for Dot and Derek – it is nb Gypsy Rover - please visit as they are wonderful people and have a great story of their past travels and those still to come.

Friday 30th July

8 miles, 2 locks, 1 tunnel

Shorter day – away reasonably early – had to pick up some gas and top up with diesel – did so at Fred Tarry at Bridge 32 and they allowed self-declare.
Relatively uneventful, apart from the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside.
Through the Blisworth tunnel which was much wetter than the Braunston tunnel yesterday.
Then down to Stoke Bruerne and the lockie helped me through the first lock with a fair number of people out and about to have a look – fortunately no mishaps. Lock 15 (the 2nd lock) was a completely solo affair – my first on my own – glad to say that I would feel that even the experts would give it a thumbs up. Was pleased that a couple of passer-bys kindly agreed to close the single gate that was open and then moored up in the pound and was back to the Navigation for lunch.

Saturday 31st July

3 miles and 5 locks

Just a short trip today – down the five locks from the pound below Stoke Bruerne – the first two solo and the last three with nb Pharion and then they pulled in for water and I carried onto just after Bridge 61 down from Yardley Wharf.

A really pleasant day – went for a walk up into the village – I found the off-licence / store and got a few things that I needed, but I couldn’t find the pub – so back to the boat and some more exploring of what was in each of the little storage cubby holes.
Some investigation of the bed and how it can be moved around

Sunday 1st August

17 miles, 3 locks and 1 swing bridge

Left earlyish this morning to get some of the distance to make it to Watford by next Sunday. I thought with only a few locks along the way it would be possible to travel a few more miles.
I knew that I would need water but the water point that I was first able to get to at Bridge 88 was terribly slow – took an hour to fill the tank – admittedly the joy of having a large water tank (a tick in one of the boxes) which meant that washing would not be a problem becomes a downside at a slow water point – can’t have everything.
Plenty of moored boats and numerous fishing matches meant more slow going , but I have achieved the distance that I needed.

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