This was to be Harnser's official launch when we would all drink the Champagne etc. We had arranged to meet Mike and Krystyna on Draco, Andrew and Wendy on One More, Dave and Leslie on Raven and any one who wandered down from the Crick Boat Show.
Wednesday May 29
We left our new home moorings at Napton about 3 o'clock and started off down the flight, half way down the engine cutout due to lack of fuel. I changed the fuel filter and we were off again. We spent our first night at Braunston. Next morning we made our way up Braunston locks to Norton Junction where we turned left up the Leicester Arm. Just after we turned up the Liecester Arm we met Buz Collins the folk/waterways song singer on his boat and had the pleasure of showing him round Harnser, our first visitor afloat. I was to hear a few weeks later that Buz had died leaving a wife and small daughter. We carried on up the Wartford Flight and through Crick Tunnel. Just as we cleared the tunnel a boat pulled out of the moorings at the tunnel mouth and we quickly slipped in to the vacant spot. This was the only vacant mooring between the tunnel and the winding hole on the far side of Crick Marina. That evening the boat moored in front of us also left. They were members of The Boaters Christian Fellowship and had reserved moorings as they had a stand at the show. This worked out well as it allowed Draco, Raven and One More to moor alongside and in front of us.
Over the course of the weekend we had several visitors who walked down to see both us and the boat and help us to get through several bottles of Champaign, this included several members of the Ipswich Branch of the IWA who were attending the show.
One evening we all decided to go to The Stag at the bottom of the Watford flight for a meal. We all piled on One More and cruised back through the tunnel mooring at the top of the locks as they are closed in the evening and over night but One More being quite short was able to wind above them. We all walked down the flight and had a very enjoyable meal. By the time we had returned to One More it was dark, but this made very little difference to us, as half the journey would be underground in Crick tunnel where it would be dark anyway.
Tuesday June 4
We left Crick by ourselves to head back to Napton, the other 3 having already left. Raven and Draco heading home, One More going to Braunston to be sold. That night we moored by bridge 100 on the Grand Union between Braunston and Napton Junction.
Wednesday June 5
Just a short run along the GU to the South Oxford and then up the Napton flight home, unfortunately it decided to rain, really rain. We finally reached our moorings around 5 o'clock, the end of our first trip on Harnser.