16 07 06
harnser 2



Sunday 16 July 2006
We set off at about 6 o'clock on Sunday evening completing loading the boat in the top lock. We had a good run down the flight only meeting one boat all the way. We saw 6 boats in the flight, 3 of them were not displaying licences, names or numbers. The other 3 were hire boats. we moored at the Folly and went in for a well earned pint and a pie, at least this time I didn't break a tooth. It was a hot night and again we had the slides and hatches open all night. It sounded as if there was a band at the Crown but being Sunday they finished quite early, it was pleasant sitting on the front deck listening to them.

Monday 17 July 2006
This morning we fitted the sun shade over the steers hatch. We received many favourable comments about it but it still requires so slight modification, but it works well. As we passed Wigrams they still have a board up saying diesel 52p pump out £12. We stopped at Braunston Marina for a £7-50 DIY pump out and noted that their diesel is 59p. We stopped for lunch outside the marina before heading up the flight, Union Canal Carriers are selling their diesel at 54p, we really require a Wheaten Aston in the area.
We did the flight alone meeting a few boats on the way. The offside top gate assembly on lock 5 is badly damaged an unusable, the whole paddle/hinge has come adrift and will need a closure to repair. We only met one boat in the tunnel and that was very early on and had a Clear run to just above Buckby locks where we have moored for the night.

Tuesday 18 July 2006
 A somewhat noisy night last night with the noise from the motorway, A5 and railway as well as being quite warm.  In light of the number of boats moored in the first pound including 4 boats of school children we decided to move of a bit earlier today and were on the move at about 7 15 am. As we exited the first lock a boat arrived to come in who informed us that a boat had just set off down the flight and all the kids were getting ready to go. In fact we only had the one boat ahead of us and the schoolgirls were having a quick drag probably before breakfast. At lock 10 there were three BW boats partly moored on the lock moorings leaving 30 foot between them and the lock. As we went into the lock a BW chap walked up so I asked if he had come to move the boats off the lock mooring and received a negative reply, he said the boats were there because that is where they are working and there was plenty of room to get off and work the locks. He then said that they had to be moored somewhere secure. The whole pound is piled and they could have been padlocked anywhere on that stretch, not only that but the one on the lock mooring was a dredger with the arm down, that could have been left anywhere without moving. A letter to BW is called for I think. We carried on to Blisworth where we stopped for a late lunch and then went through the tunnel to moor in Stoke Bruerne at about 4 o'clock. After taking the dog for a walk we went to the Navigation pub at about 6 pm for an early dinner and to celebrate our wedding anniversary. After eating we set off again in the slightly cooler early evening and worked down the Stoke Bruerne flight to moor for the night just beyond bridge 56 in the middle of nowhere.

Wednesday 19 July 2006
 Last night proved to be more peaceful than expected. As we passed under bridge 56 last night there were three lads looking over, no stones or spitting came as we passed under and as usual I spoke to them and got a friendly reply. As the evening drew on they were still there and getting louder with several cars roaring up and down the country lane and lots of shouting. This carried on until it was quite dark and then it all went quiet and thank goodness stayed that way. We set off this morning about 8 to another warm and sunny day, a about 10 30 the hone rang and it was Diana's sister, her mother had taken more falls and was again in hospital so we turned at the winding hole by the windmill Milton Keynes and are now heading back to Napton to drive down to Tunbridge Wells. We stopped for a bit of tea at Bugbrook around 6 pm. After eating we pushed on to try to moor opposite the caravan park just prior to Stowehill but it was virtually full along there and someone had spilt diesel in the water so the south end stank. In the light of this I decided to reverse past the boatyard and through the bridge so we are now moored just south of bridge 29 at 8 30 at night. There is a bit of cloud about now and the glass has gone back several points so I think the weather is on the change.

 Thursday 20 July 2006
 Last nights moorings were very quiet, the only problem was the flies, there were swarms of them. We set off about 9 am to a much cooler day, as we passed Stowehill I couldn’t see the diesel price or pumpout board and the shop looked shut up. As we approached Whilton bottom lock I saw someone go to the top paddles and turn the lock, I thought that will only hold us up for a few minutes, however it was actually a boat going up alone. Diana turned the lock and we went in and waited until the boat we could see in the distance arrived, we then had a good run up together meeting boats in every lock. As we approached lock 11 there was a BW chap painting and he had brought the dredger down from the next lock to use as a workshop and he had moored it just above and not on the lock moorings, at lock 10 the other two BW boats had been pulled up a bit to leave room for the dredger between them and the lock moorings. We didn't meet any boats in Braunston tunnel and the air was quite clear, at Braunston top we turned the lock and waited for the boat behind. Talking to the lady steerer she said she wouldn't do it again, some people she met in the week were very nice but some were awful shouting to slow down when the speed control was on the point of being out of gear. Halfway down the flight we ran into a bottleneck as all the boats that had been moored in the Nelson pound had just set off, 7 of them, which backed everything up.

 I rang Calcutt to find out there opening hours and price of diesel, its still 50p and 47p for over 100 lt. but they close at 5-30 and no way were we going to get there by then. We moored for the night at 6-30 right on the bend by the Folly pub. Tomorrow will just be the flight and then by car to see Diana's mum.

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