Monday, 30 March 2015

Diane feeling better - not so much wind!!

Monday 30th March 2015

We woke this morning to the sound of rain drumming on the roof - the wind had died down considerably and in the distance there was a wonderful sunrise - how perfect can that be?

The GLW was left in bed to catch up on the sleep that she was deprived of by my snoring (apparently); I got on with work and later on she woke up to coffee and all of her reading stuff.

Our intended target was Stoke Bruerne which was basically straight cruising and maybe a couple of locks optional.

Diane wanted to get a few things done inside first so I left her with it and got the boat ready to leave and the just, well, left.

It has been over 3 years since we have been down this way and whilst we may not remember it as well as say Stone to Stoke, it all comes back very quickly.

Diane quite liked the look of this place up for sale, but somehow
I think it had a bit to do with the purple balustrading
Passing widebeams - rule no.1 - go slower...

...the pull of the water drags Ferndale across into the path of the
second widebeam following closely behind...

...shear brute strength got her back to pass safely

Reaching Gayton Junction we wanted to do empty a cassette; Diane was at the tiller, a boat was moored on the water point; she simply aimed at the space in front of them and then turned to the right and brought the stern around so that with just a little bit of pulling of the centre line Ferndale was moored up - given the wind - not even given the wind - she did an excellent job.
The cassetted was quickly emptied, but by then the boat behind was finished with the water; they pulled off; we pulled back and we filled up as well.

Coming out was really quite easy as we only had to move out a fraction and turn back onto the Grand Union, passing by Blisworth Marina and just a mile onto the tunnel.

Once again Diane wanted to take Ferndale through the tunnel but drew the line at passing the oncoming boat - that will come later, but for now I assumed control and passed said boat and handed control back to the "skipper".

Tunnel Girl through Blisworth....
Exiting from the tunnel it felt quite warm, mainly because it was really quite cold during our underground passage and also the sun was breaking through the cloud cover.

...she gave me control only to take the photo before....

....taking it back again!

CaRT are doing more work on the towpath; we had noticed throughout the morning cruise that the off-side cutting back of the trees and vegetation had been done; anyone who says that CaRT are not doing anything is blinkered or has their own agenda - keep up the excellent work - it will take time to get it all done.

The old legger's hut and some of the towpath upgrade

The towpath now prepared for something a lot better.

We opted out of going down two locks to the long pound and stay at the top level where there was a mooring just prior to the restricted area.
Stoke Bruerne - lock in the distance- we'll just duck in here
and moor up

Later on we wandered down the locks, noticing that a pair of boats were entering and coming up through lock 16 - there appeared to be only the two people working the two boats through.

We also noticed that the top gates to lock 17 had been left wide open - with the way the bottomgates were leaking, I dare say it wouldn't have taken too long before the short pound between the locks would have been drained. Well someone had to fix up their laziness and we were on hand to close the gates - didn't take a lot of effort to do the right thing.
A few minutes later as we strolled back up past them still in lock 16, the guy said hello to us - Diane replied, I remained silent - my protest at them being concerned only with themselves.

Rain again later in the afternoon; Diane had a little nap - not sure that she is 100%, but she was better after it; a not too strenuous evening and now here I am writing the blog before I am off as well.
Oooh, I think I will be in trouble with the heading for this blog when she finally reads it tomorrow, but that can wait.

I will need to head down toWatford in a few days time to fill out some more forms for the UK government, but that will be from Milton Keynes, when we get there.

9 Miles, 1 tunnel
YTD: 217 Miles, 91 Locks, 6 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 8 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3111 Miles, 2212 Locks, 104 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 159 Swing Bridges

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