Friday, 3 October 2014

We made it.

Another early morning start and the first time we had encountered a couple of eccentrics on the waterways. Unlike us, who were on a mission to get to our destination early enough to pick up the car, I think they had left early to avoid any sort of contact with society.

However, on arrival at the Braunston lock flight, they had waited for us with the gates open and Mrs Eccentric was flying between locks on her bicycle to prepare the next lock.

After a rather awkward conversation between Paul and Mr Eccentric about destinations. Mostly Mr E not wanting to declare his destination and thinking that when Paul said "Crick", one of the best known places amongst boaters he was  saying "Trick". After that we got our heads down, and with the demon lock opener on her bicycle, we got through Braunston flight in an hour. On a personal note, Braunston has the heaviest lock gates I have encountered all week.

First mate is getting braver and happily stayed with us through Braunston tunnel. At 2042 yards it took us about 20 minutes to get through.

It wasn't too long before we hit the Watford flight, a piece of serenity right next to the M1 services. There were two other boats waiting to go up and after checking in with the lock keepers , we just had time for a quick snack and a brew before we were on our way. The lock keepers were incredibly friendly and helpful, we were through in about an hour with tourist spectators following us the whole way up.

Some excitement as we cruised on after Watford. Paul at the Tiller spotted Derwent6. Del and Al were probably the first boating bloggers we followed and we have read about their life on the waterways for many years. They have been part of the inspiration for our adventure with Melissa. Next time we see you guys we must come and say "hello" properly.

Norton junction signifies we are almost home. A pretty cottage and some clever tiller work by Paul to turn the corner before getting waterproof jackets on for Crick tunnel. The second tunnel of the day at 1528 yards Paul completed his inaugural boating journey by passing another boat in the tunnel.

Once we arrived and settled into our mooring at Crick, Paul headed out to fetch the car back from Hanbury while I spent the afternoon giving Melissa a through cleaning.

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