Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Definitely Staying On Track For Home In Time.

(Boat Chalice - posted by Alan)

The man in the bath - paddling hard in foul conditions!
By now we realised, barring major hold ups, that we could be home by Thursday night, so that Cath would be in time to go into work the next day.  It would mean longish days, but it was possible.

Moored just one lock down the Buckby flight, we realised another boat was passing Southwards.  Did we want to go down with them ?  (They didn't mind waiting a few minutes while we got going).  We said "Yes, definitely", and were quickly on our way. It all passed fairly smoothly, although initially all locks were against us, so Cath started setting ahead of both boats

Do I really have to wear this ?
At the bottom the other boat went ahead of us, but it was quickly obvious they travelled quite slowly.  For some reason they didn't wave us past for several miles, where conditions are ideal to overtake, but then did so, (as so many do!) just as we were approaching a line of moored boats, and then did not slow hugely themselves.  I always find that situation tricky!  Normally if you are given a chance to overtake, but don't immediately take it, you will not get the offer again, but I hate trying to pass in unsuitable circumstances, particularly where moored boats don't want you going fast.  Anyway, I compromised, and was soon past with no complaints!

Sharing locks down the Stoke Bruerne flight.
Again the weather was highly variable, and, when not too windy, I had the umbrella up quite a bit.  We had a good run through Blisworth tunnel, although the first part of it was as wet as I have experienced in a long while.  Straight through Stoke Bruerne, without pause, we again caught another boat waiting to go down the locks, with which we then shared the whole flight.  On this occasion they were stopping for services, so we got a clear run away, or at least until we met one of the weaving day hire boats one finds on this stretch.

Vast amounts of excess water at Stoke Bruerne.
By Wolverton we badly needed supplies, so we pulled up, to allow cath and Michael to go to the supermarket there.  David had been with us throughout over 4 weeks, and now felt he would like to be home a day earlier.  So, Michael having agreed to stay on, david set off for the station, and we set off South again - not quite the result we had expected, but it would allow david some time to sort out things he was struggling to do in the confines of a boat with four and a dog on board.

Cath suggested we stop at Stantonbury, but I particularly like the offside moorings at Great Linford.  There are only a few of these, so a place is not guaranteed, but  we managed to find a slot on the end just long enough for our fifty feet.  It had been a long boating day, particular in terms of miles covered, but we had done enough that we should be back at our home mooring tomorrow.

Below Buckby Top Lock to Linford Park
Miles: 27.5, Locks: 14
Total Miles: 480.8, Locks: 285 (Worked)

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