We decided to stop a little way short of the top
of Foxton Locks working on the assumption that if we had got there and all the
moorings were taken we’d have been in a bit of a dilemma so we’ve stopped on a
country mooring (overlooking a field of cows) with the nearest town being
Theddingworth. We remain comfortably on target to get to Debdale Marina on time
for the boat blacking so we can just stay here and admire the scenery.
Once again we have made it to our intended destination,
keeping us on track to get to Debdale Wharf ready for the boat to be blacked.
Coming out of Braunston was surprisingly quick, in just over an hour after
leaving the overnight mooring in Braunston we were at the tunnel having swiftly
dealt with 6 locks on the way. We also passed another blogger, ‘Chuffed’ whilst
going through these locks, a couple that we had last met on the Kennet and Avon
Canal 3 years ago. By coincidence they were also going to have their boat
blacked but their destination was Calcutt marina.
The only slight hold up we had was at Watford Locks, but
that was pretty much to be expected. I have to say that I’m not a great fan of
those locks. Partly this may be because we had a minor mishap there just after
we got the boat which cost me £250 to straighten a bent rudder, but also partly
because the boat never seems to want to just ‘sit’ in these locks, it is either
drifting forwards or drifting backwards. If it drifts too far forward there is
a gap below the ‘bump’ board on the top gate under which it would be very easy
to trap the button fender on the bow; if the boat drifts too far back there is
the risk of trapping the rudder between the bottom gates. It rather means that
you sit in the lock constantly going from forward drive to reverse to try to
hold the boat in the middle of the lock.
With luck, tomorrow we should get to the top of the Foxton
Flight, although if we are a bit short of that, it is no cause for concern.
A short trip today to get us to Braunston to stock up for
the weekend, re-stock the wine cellar and (hopefully) tomorrow to get all of
the boat servicing bit that we need. It has warmed up slightly, now that we
have bought another 2 bags of coal, and I’m expecting a warm and sunny Bank
Holiday weekend so we probably won’t need the extra coal that we’ve bought. Of
course if we hadn’t bought any we would probably have had snow by now!
We need to get off reasonably early tomorrow as we will be
doing a bit over 9 miles, 13 locks and 2 tunnels so a reasonably busy day.
Today we have pretty much kept to schedule and should now
easily be in Braunston by Friday (we are only an hour away!). We seemed to skip
through Stockton Flight of locks fairly swiftly (for us) taking only about an
hour. The next necessity was to refuel at Calcutt Marina, taking on about 97
litres of diesel which should see us OK until about the beginning of June.
During our stop at Braunston I’ll need to stock up on a few
items for boat servicing, some oil and filters and another bottle of the fuel
additive that we use, Fuel Set. Quite pricey but hopefully preventing us from
getting problems from water in the fuel.
So after a week away we are now back aboard and on the move,
it could be said that our summer cruise starts here. We topped up our utilities
before leaving the Saltisford Canal centre mooring, so we have enough water to
last until next Monday and we’ve replaced the empty gas bottle (I forgot to
mention to them that the valve on the bottle leaks which is why we seem to have
lost a couple of weeks worth of gas!).
The weather is rather living up to April’s reputation with a
number of passing showers hitting us during the day, a couple of them being or
hail. The temperature is still pretty chilly and we are back to lighting our
fire quite early in the evening (about 6pm). We had hoped that by now we’d have
stopped using the fire but if this weather keeps up we’ll be buying another bag
of coal when we pass through Braunston. Hoping to be in Braunston by Friday.