Bugbrooke to Watling Street
Nearly seven miles would get us to the Long Buckby flight today. So that shouldn’t have taken us that long, but there were things to do on route. First off was to fill up at Rugby Boats, currently 69.9p a litre, their gas was also a couple of quid cheaper than we’ve paid recently, must be older stock. With the tank full we should last to Wheaton Aston for the next fill up (one of the cheapest on the cut), if not there will be Taft Wharf on the way.
This boat for some reason made us both think of Hull it just needed a thick layer of Snur on it’s roof and that would have been perfect.
Next stop was at Weedon Bec to find a post box so that I can wish my brother a Happy Birthday tomorrow. I hopped off at the bridge and walked down towards Tescos where I spotted a post box, I was back at the boat just as Mick had finished mooring up. So we untied and pushed off again.
If it wasn’t for the noise you’d never think that the canal was sandwiched between the West Coast Main Line and the M1 now that all the trees are fat with leaves. But this carries on for nearly two miles to the bottom of the locks. Here we pulled in and had some lunch, then we walked up to the second lock to find Bedazzled’s new premises. Oleanna had come with mostly led bulbs, but there were a few that weren’t. The light in the kitchen extractor had been easy to change as it was 240volt and a supermarket came up trumps with that a while ago. But the bulb in the bathroom extractor and the light in the cratch needed to be 24volt, so not readily available. However we knew Bedazzled would have what we wanted. Funny thing was for a bulb company it was very dark in the offices. Two people were sat in the almost dark, only light by their computer screens. The chap did turn a light on so that we could look at the bulbs to make our choice.
Back at Oleanna we were now ready to make our way up the flight. An Ashby Hire Boat was moored up at the services and didn’t look like they were ready to go up with us, so we started on our own. Once Oleanna was well on the way up I walked up towards the second lock. As I approached, the water cascading over the gates suggested someone was emptying the lock above and then a head popped out under the bridge and told me as much. I signalled back to Mick that one was on it’s way down and then went on to help. By the time Oleanna was in the second lock the hire boat was starting to enter the lock below, so we waited and waited. In the end I walked back to check that there weren’t two boats in the lock, but there was just one. They were two crew members down as one lady had fallen as she’d stepped off the boat and had gone to hospital to get her ankle checked out. This meant that the remaining crew were going solo for the first time and quite nervous about it.
Once safely up they joined us in the second lock and carried on up the flight. Quite often we meet boats coming down saving everyone work. The forth lock had been left open for us and as we approached one gate closed, was this the wind? Or someone not looking? Mick beeped our horn, then the other gate started to close, so he beeped it again for longer, the gates started to open again. At the lock there were soo many people, one on each gate and others watching, with more approaching from two hire boats. What seemed like six German ladies and six from the other boat were all there to help. Our team were surplus to requirements!
By the time we’d reached the sixth lock, news had come through that their friend had badly sprained her ankle and they were on their way back to meet up with the boat at the New Inn. Should they moor below the last lock, or above it? In the end they were only going to pick up the injured party, possibly a quick glass of wine and then carry on with the hope of reaching Braunston by the end of the day. So we waved them goodbye as we pulled in just short of the final lock as it would be nicer for Tilly here.
6 locks, 8.03 miles, 78 litres diesel, 1 gas bottle, 1 card posted, 2 poohy shoes, 2 bulbs, £15, 5 locks shared, 15 crew at one lock! 1 stunning comment, 1 sprained ankle, 1 glass of wine yearned for, 0 rain as forcast, 3 hours instead of 2.