The next morning we heard the ominous sound of the mower and strimmer, and shortly after Gary inspected the side of the boat!
He set too straight away cleaning the grass off before it dried on and set like concrete!
As we headed up the Bascote Locks the mower and strimmer were on their way back – at least this time they didnt have to work near us!
The pound below the staircase locks was really low – Muleless barely made it to the top of the lock!
We moored up at the Cuttle Inn – opposite the Two Boats pub – we had decided it was time to try a different pub, as every other time we stopped here we popped in the Two Boats!
As we sorted ourselves out, and I changed out of my “cruising” clothes, we heard a load of dogs barking – and suddenly, through the hedge on the right of the picture came a pack of hounds!
They streamed across the lawn and headed through the fence on the far side of the pub garden! Shortly after horses and riders came over the road bridge and down past the Cuttle Inn – it was obviously a hunt underway – not too sure what scent the hounds were following, it was a good job we didnt have a dog or cat with us at the side of the boat at the time!!!
Friday morning it was time to head up the Stockton locks again, the forecast was for rain later, so we made sure we set off at a reasonable time – 10.45 am – there are only 10 locks after all!
In the pound between locks 8 and 9 there has been a bit of a breach – I dont think it was there when we came down!
We had seen a couple of CRT people walking down the flight and they said they had been running water down to the centre pounds which were really low – when we got there they still looked really low!
We made it to the top of the flight, as I prepared the top lock it started raining, and as we were ready and dressed for it we didnt mind.
We were soon moored up opposite the Willow Wren Training Centre, snug and warm!
Saturday we made the short hop back to the top of the Calcutt Locks. We set off with sunshine and brilliant blue skies again!
Shortly after mooring up the weather changed again!
All this rain recently is working wonders for the reservoirs!
Sunday we had an even shorter journey – into Wigrams Marina! Now it is winter we aim to equalise our batteries once a month.
Whilst we were there, Niece Natalie popped in to see us – her baby is due in January!
That night there was a lovely sunset …….
and in the morning it was frosty and misty!
We had decided to stay for two days to get some jobs done and then on Tuesday we headed out, mooring just outside the marina for one night and then heading back to Braunston on Wednesday.
There was lots of mud running into the canal from the fields!
Braunston was shrouded in mist as we approached.
We made the usual visit to the shop for supplies and we both visited the hairdresser for a trim!
On the way back to the boat we spotted this version of a famous boat in the marina! (Sue is this your old one?)
After a slow start on Thursday we topped up with water as usual and then turned in the marina entrance.
The morning had started misty and grey, but by 1pm the sky had cleared!
As we headed out of Braunston, we passed NB Milly M – but no sign of Maffi – he was probably busy sorting out his clutch problem!
This shot of Braunston in the distance is a total contrast to the one when we arrived!
Approaching our mooring at Onley.
Amazingly there was no-one moored there!
We had another lovely sunset, and the canal was so still it reflected every detail!
Friday was the “Momentous Day” in the heading!
We set off from our mooring and headed to Hillmorton Locks.
The top lock was almost set, and within minutes the gate was open and Muleless nosed gently in, the gate was closed behind and the paddles were wound to let the water out!
Hang on a minute – that looks like Gary winding the paddles – who is steering the boat? – ME!!!!!!
Gary opened the gates and held his breath as I moved Muleless out of the lock!
One down and two to go! Now I had my first solo journey through the pound between the locks! Lucky for me it wasnt windy!!
The slight curve on the lock approach made me have a glancing blow with the wall – I could see Gary cringe and shut his eyes – it wasnt a hard knock! Then I was in and down we went again!
Two down, one to go, off I went – round a bend this time – luckily no other boats were using the locks, so one less thing to worry about!
I had to go slowly in this pound, and wait for Gary to get to the lock, which needed filling.
This time my lock entry was perfect – no bumps! Two out of three was not bad for my first locking attempt in Muleless!
As I exited the last lock the plan had been for me to take Muleless to the water point – but just then Gary spotted a boat approaching the lock – followed by two more – and I chickened out, Gary hopped back on board and took over!
We did a quick “splash and dash” at the water point – we couldnt be bothered to wait for the tank to fill completely!
As we passed Clifton Cruisers there have been a lot of changes – including a new wooden office building.
We were soon moored up at Brownsover, and did the usual trips to The Range and Tesco for all the essentials!
Saturday we chose to use the water tap at Newbold rather than get our feet wet at Brownsover!
As we pulled away and headed to the tunnel a boat had entered from the other end since we had checked! Even though it is a two way tunnel, we waited for them to exit first!
It was a lovely sunny day so we enjoy the gentle plod along.
I dont think these solar panels are going to work too well though!
The landscape was looking fabulous with the sun and a hint of mist in the distance.
By 3pm it was getting cooler but as we had reached All Oaks Wood and there was space to moor we were happy to call it a day.