From now on I will be splitting the blogs weekly every Sunday to keep the size down. Here is the first 'Chapter', check back for daily updates.
After a few days back at home celebrating my dad's 87th birthday we're back on the boat and having moved out of Union Wharf in Market Harborough yesterday are now heading for Crick. Realising it's the Crick boat show this weekend we aim to be passed by Wednesday!
For the uninitiated the Foxton 'flight' (posh name for a group of locks together) is a double staircase (locks where the top gate of the first lock is the bottom gate of the next). We are unlucky that a couple of boats have just started down as we get there so we have to wait about 40 minutes for them to descend before we start. To conserve water these locks use side ponds sso rather than the water going to waste as you descend rather it is transferred into the side pond and used to fill the lock next time,this is something new to us so take instruction on the paddle sequencing, which is easy when you've been told.
I have to say that for the last few weeks the waterways and scenery have been outstanding in both beauty and cleanliness. Definetely do this again.
Passing through tunnel we meet a boat coming the other way! I sot of knew this was a wide tunnel but didn't expect to have to pass anyone. However elbows in and no drama for once.
On recommendation of Tony the volunteer lock keeper we take the Welford arm to visit a pub for tea. It isn't clear in the Nicholson guide but you can 'wind' at the very end of the arm opposite the sanitary station after the boat yard.
We leave Welford after an excellent pint and an OK meal in the wharf inn. Molly our timeshare labrador enjoyed sharing Anne's fish and chips, however she saw none of mine!
Stopped for lunch in an unnamed shady spot to escape the midday sun. During which we are passed by a hire boat of a certain fleet out of Market Harborough, now I'm not anti hire boat by any means but... Having passed us at what anyone else would consider normal cruising speed he opened up the throttle to full bore and set off in a cloud of diesel smoke at such a pace that the bow lifted up and the stern sat way down. Add to this his stern rope was trailing in the water just waiting to snag his prop. (If there is a God...) Oh and he was stripped to the waist with his two male accomplices.
Just as the energy is begining to fade and the G&T is calling we come upon our old friends Brian and Maggie on Eeyore hiding in the shade outside Crick marine so we haul up with them for the night. Restaurante Chez Andante tonight.
First family of swans of the season spotted near the top of the Oxford canal.
20 the May