Monday, April 17, 2006

Three in a row

The 'undesirables'

Got water and turned at Stoke Bruerne with a foot to spare. The local trip boat is about the same length as ours so reckoned ours should be ok. Back through the tunnel behind 'No Problem', but not too close. We slowed down as two boats passed us in the dark. Then realised that we were getting closer to 'No Problem'. Apparently the boat in front of them had actually stopped! "Not the best thing to do in a dark tunnel when boats are following behind"!

Having got through the tunnel we stopped just passed Blisworth. Sue found her long lost walking stick which had been thrown over the hedge. A couple of 'rubbish boats' were nearby and the occupants had walked passed and looked in. They then lit a bonfire on the towpath, sat round it and started playing loud music. One of the advantages of living on a boat is that if we don’t like our neighbours we can move. So we did, just a mile further on, at 8 in the evening as the sun was going down.

Nether Heyford

Got here and turned the next day. Moored near the footpath to the village. We all walked across the fields of kale to find a shop and butcher. They were so friendly we were soon on first name terms. Lovely fresh meat as well.

Returned to the boat and set about constructing a new chimney. Had got some galvanised steel earlier and Vic helped by drilling holes and using his pop rivet gun. In order to encourage the short chimney to draw it needs to be kept warm outside. A longer one would hit the low bridges! So we made two tubes one inside the other. The outer one would keep the inner tube warm.

Getting busy on Maundy Thursday so we both went down the Northampton Arm for a few quiet days.

Return to Braunston

Left our friends Sue n Vic after celebrating Ann's birthday the previous evening and stopped at Brockhall. Later that day Roy n Rose on 'Maddy Rose' stopped for the night. We have known them for many years as 'passing' boaters. Never before have we travelled together but now we agree to go over the hill to Braunston. We moved on Easter Sunday after eating a boiled egg and hot cross bun for breakfast. The previous day we saw over 50 boats on the move. Today most locks had two boats in on our way up. We were in a convoy of 5 boats approaching the tunnel and passed 6 going through! So at one point there were 11 boats inside the blackness going ever so slowly. Seemed an age getting through, then down the locks to Braunston with even more boats coming up. Got water in Braunston before heading down towards Napton and stopping at Nethercote. A full 22 lock miles done in 6 hours.

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