Today's departure was delayed somewhat - our aim was to make it to the junction - 9 miles and 11 locks - so we would be looking to get away on the earlier side rather than at 10am when we eventually untied.
Why the delay?
During our stroll yesterday afternoon we came across a charity shopwhich had a lovely ship's cut-glass decanter in the window, but when we were there the shop was closed.
Not wanting to let it go we had another walk up into the town - there was also a rather nice bakery also to investigate - the eating plan is really working well - we seem to be eating.
Sure enough when we reached our destination the decanter was still there, so in we went.
Apart from a couple of small chips on the insert of the stopper, the decanter was in excellent condition - I would have been happy to pay the asking price - after all it was a charity shop.
Diane, who has learnt well over the years, especially from her mother wasn't about to let the chance for a little haggling slip by and got the price knocked down - has she no shame? - seemingly not.
The lady behind the counter seemed OK with it all - I just walked out quickly with the goodies and hid beneath my hat. Diane came out with a grin - very pleased with the purchase and the price.
Next on the list was the aforementioned bakery where bread and cakes were purchased for later consumption.
We now needed to be off - it was a sunny day already and the heat was about - but also a bit humid.
|Renovated mill - back into service as small business premises|
Along the way we met a strange Hungarian who was pleased/amazed/jovial all at the same time - his centre of interest was the operation of the lock and the boat going down from one level to another. He was pleasant and very harmless - just plain happy - so good to see.
|These peaceful shady stretches provided some relief from the sun...|
Water was collected along the way and we came across a guy called David Powell, whom we had seen just a week ago on our trip up the Stort.
He was the President of the restoration society for the working boat called President; on seeing us a week ago he told his wife that he had come across two Australians on a boat called Ferndale, her reply was that they had seen us in March when they were out on their boat a bit further north than here.
These days he works for CanalAbility, an organistaion which is a charitable trust helping take disabled people onto the canal and also training new comers to the system on how to operate the boat,locks and anything else they may come across.
Today he was training Wally and Jane, who will/have purchased a narrowboat called Utopia around the Braunston area.
|Training - David on the left - Wally and Jane were getting there|
Not long after meeting with David training Wally and Jane, we came across another in the "fleet" at a lock - this time out with some disabled kids and their parents for a relaxing cruise - there were three crew taking care of everything.
The locks today were a mix of being in our favour and against, but the trend of leaving the gates open upon leaving is still working here for us.
|We were all for living up to the lock name, but this was the last lock and Diane|
was just plum tuckered out; besides there wasn't enough sunscreen
Eventually we made it through the last of the locks; found the junction and also a mooring spot; the bollards were spaced at intervals which were not altogether convenient and we probably spread out a little too far - our defence could only be that we were a bit exhausted, so after we had rested and a tap on the boat from a man with a windlass asking if we would mind shuffling up about 5-6 feet, we were more than happy to oblige.
So we have a company of 3 boats on the moorings with at least one of us not moving tomorrow - mind you they are 14-day moorings.
|our morning's purchase...|
|...and in position - without the necessary liquid|
A rest day is called for and I have no shame in admitting that it will be enjoyed - along with the forecasted sunshine.
9 Miles, 11 Locks
YTD: 446 Miles, 263 Locks, 10 Tunnels, 2
Lift Bridges, 11 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3340 Miles, 2384 Locks, 108 Tunnels, 36