Yes, I know I have only just posted the last blog – but I needed to catch you up on what we had done before I started this seasons proper blog!
So on Saturday 1 March we left Wigrams Marina for the last time for a while, having topped up with fuel and had a pump out!
It felt like spring had definitely arrived as we made our way to Braunston in the sunshine and NO WIND!!!
Upon arrival we whizzed up to the butchers to make sure we could stock up the freezer ready for our great journey!
By Sunday of course the sun had disappeared, but we had made arrangements for our niece Natalie and her husband Matty to join us as we made our way up the Braunston Locks and through the tunnel – as they had always peered in the entrance and wondered about what it was like to travel through!
So after bacon butties, we set off – this was new territory for us, as we hadnt gone past the marina before!
Heading under Butchers Bridge towards the locks.
Not much space here!
The first of six locks. Whilst waiting to come into the lock Gary was accosted by some blog readers who recognised him and the boat – sorry he didnt get your names, but thanks for reading!
After a bit of instruction, Nat and Matty were soon in the swing of lock operation and we smoothly made our way up the locks.
Then the highlight of the trip – we switched off the diesel engine and glided into the tunnel using electric drive!
As we cruised through the tunnel silently all we could hear was the gentle lapping of the water moving around us and the dripping/gushing from the walls – it was eerie!
With our super bright LED tunnel light and silent drive we must seem like a ghost boat – watch out for us in a tunnel near you!
Exiting the tunnel.
The rain had managed to hold off, but it was starting to drizzle as we moored up at Norton Junction.
We walked over to the The New Inn where Nat and Matty had left their car and after saying goodbye we popped in for a drink – and then decided to have Sunday Lunch there.
What a fantastic meal we had – we thoroughly recommend them – the best pub sunday lunch we have had for a very long time!
When we eventually left the pub we needed a walk – so headed off down the Buckby locks to see what works CRT were doing.
We found the top pounds low, and then the lower ones drained and locks empty and even though it was raining by then we thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the details that are normally covered by water! Apologies for the raindrops on the lense!
We walked the two miles back to the boat, and spent the evening chilling out listening to the rain!
This morning started misty – but the sun soon came out!
We set off and headed through the bridge to the junction, where we turned left and headed for Leicester.
Quite a long way to go still!
Plenty of tow path works have taken place.
As we headed north the railway passes over and then we passed Watford Gap Services!
The water level here seemed to be quite high!
We passed a few floating hazards!
Just as we reached the Watford Locks who should be coming out but Maffi and Molly having escaped from Leicester!
As Gary waited in the bottom lock, I walked up to the top of the flight to find the Lockie and book in for our trip up the locks.
Watford locks are a set of 7, but include a staircase set of 4 locks in the middle – really exciting stuff!
View from inside the second lock looking back.
Entering the bottom of the staircase.
Gary moving through from first to second “step”.
Looking down – they are very deep!
Looking down from “step” three.
Waiting for “equalisation” to open the gates.
The paddles are colour coded – red before white – I have to remember that for our trip up Foxton Locks in a couple of days!
Just as we reached the top the heavens opened, and it hailed and it rained and it hailed again. We pulled onto the water point and topped up and the lockie invited us into his “hut” to wait for the rain to pass.
The rain just carried on and on and on, and eventually we thanked the lockie and decided to move on as the sky started to look brighter.
Straight away we passed under the M1 – the traffic was speeding past not even knowing we were there!
Unfortunately the rain kept falling and I didnt dare use the camera any more! We cruised on for two miles and then entered Crick tunnel.
It was just as well we were already wet, as Crick tunnel decided to leak on us a lot!
As we left the tunnel the rain had stopped and we moored up by the bridge. It wasnt long before it started raining again!
It feels strange to be moored here for the first time, when previously when visiting Crick Show we only arrived by car!!