Friday, 30 May 2014

Continuing a Stress Free Home Run.

(Boat Chalice - posted by Cath)
Truly one of the most unusual boats to be found in this area
A very common days boating for us - it's a fairly stretched day, but it's one that we do all the time, so it can seem to be a bit repetitive.

On this occasion we had an appointment in Stoke Bruerne for 6:00 pm. Our son Michael, who doesn't like boating much, but who works anyway was planning to come up and meet us for the evening.

Odin & Clio check each other out from their respective boats.
At the Braunston flight we met up with a couple moving their boat back to its marina near Nether Heyford. I got on well immediately with the woman, and we worked up the flight very quickly chatting as we went. At the top she said that if we were working down Whilton they would be happy to work down with us.

Through Braunston Tunnel with no incidents, David practicing his cornet again.

At the top of the Buckby/Whilton flight, there was a boat waiting to go down. Strictly we should have gone down with them, but I called over to the boat that had come up Braunston with us - did they want to go down with us? "Love to!" was the reply.

Bottom lock at Buckby, (Whilton), after a nice smooth passage through.
Another boat was due to come off the water point so we persuaded them to go down with the lone boat ahead of us, and I introduced us properly to the boat we were going down with - Tan and Steve, with their dog Clio.

Tan is a teacher, and we were quickly into discussions about teaching, and boating. I got on really well with her, enjoying the talk, and finding the flight passing almost without notice. I don't particularly like the Whilton flight - the locks are deep, the gates are heavy. However, it was really good to work down with an efficient and friendly crew.

Dominic Miles craning a boat at his Stowe Hill base.
On through Blisworth Tunnel - David doing his practice again. A woman standing at the end of the tunnel was watching, trying to see where the music was coming from, and cheered when we appeared. It turned out later that she had assumed that David was a great deal younger than he really is - he does look young.

In Stoke Bruerne we found that our friends Paddy and Ruth were there - with Odin's very good friend Lister - so we had a cup of tea and the chance to catch up after the winter. Paddy and Ruth trade on the canals during the summer, so we see them quite often when out boating, but then not at all in the winter, when they take more 'regular' work.

Michael turned up, we took Odin for a walk. Michael tried him on a number of tricks that he couldn't do after his illness and he was able to do them easily. "Limp" and "Where's your tail?" were just too difficult for him only two weeks ago - so he has made considerable progress with balance and coordination since then.

We went to the pub for a meal, then played Northamptonshire Skittles in the bar. Michael had come equipped to stay overnight, but opted for the 1 hour drive home - it was really nice to see him.

Braunston to Stoke Bruerne

Miles: 21.0, Locks: 13
Total Miles: 256.2, Locks: 202

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