10 day trip in sunshine

Sunday, 8 May 2011

We have various commitments coming up over the next few months so decided that we needed a BB session so decided that a trip out on the boat over Easter was required especially with the forecast of wall to wall sunshine. We knew that this would be a busy time but we had a plan to avoid the traffic! We set off from the marina on Wednesday 20 April as we had an appointment with an engineer to refit our Eberspacher boiler in Braunston first thing on Thursday. We had decided on a trip up the Leicester Arm so left Braunston at 09.30 and went up the flight with an efficient Canal Time Boat. Through the tunnel and only meet 5 boats coming the other way. We arrived at Watford flight at 11.30 with 2 boats in front. Only a short wait and up we went, why don't the crews of waiting boats help those coming through- it seems to be the thing to wait until its your turn to go up or down before coming to help!!. Part of boating is meeting fellow boaters when going through locks.

We stopped for the day a mile after the M1 bridge by Bridge 9- to the sound of lambs,green woodpeckers, slight railway sounds and the distant rumble of the M1- bliss.

Many boats about but we watched the world go by for the rest of the day. On Good Friday morning I walked to Watford flight to get rid of the rubbish and at 08.15 there were 16 boats waiting to go down. When we came back the following Wednesday the volunteer lock keeper said that 57 boats had used the locks on Good Friday- an average wait of 6 hours.

A few pictures of the trip.

Two buttys(unpowered boats) moored by Braunston Turn.

Just as I took this photo one cow stood up- you don't often see a complete herd sitting down- its supposed to be a sign of rain isn't it.

The lock keepers cottage at the bottom of the Watford Locks is being refurbished- looks very nice- but it is very close to the M1 which the picture doesn't show.

The trip between Braunston and Napton has Fields upon fields of rape which smell very strongly- alright for a quick stop but not for overnight.

We wondered why there were no boats when we came back through Braunston tunnel- the reason being that this stealth wide beam had just gone through in front of us. It really does look out of proportion- flat and wide.

Couldn't resist a picture of this old working boat panel in the boat yard by Braunston Bottom Lock

An old iron plate that protected the bridge brickwork from the tow ropes from butty's over the years.

Why do animals always want to eat that extra bit that always requires that little bit of extra stretch.

A motorised butty going through bridge 9. It has an engine in the hold with hydraulic drive to a prop mounted on the rudder. It didn't have a name but the boat is 100 years old.

Another picture late afternoon of bridge 9 in the round.

Looking back to our mooring at bridge 9 a mile from the M1.

A great looking BCN tug

The weather was excellent the canal was busy but we had a lovely trip up the GU Leicester Arm to Welford- and watched a lot of boats go by from the tow path on which we had our earliest BBQs with meat from the butchers in Braunston- cooking doesn't get better than this!!!!!