Wednesday, 1 April 2009

1 April 09 Napton to Norton Junction

We set off at 10 am in warm sunshine, said good by to Mike on Draco and made our way down the flight, The first boat we met was using the new BW bollards and smashed into the top gates in both locks despite shouting at his wife/lady to shut the paddle down. He was also back setting as he went for a boat that was not in site, so we arrived at the next lock and instead of being full and ready for us it was empty with the bottom paddle up and the boat coming up was still working the next lock down, so that was another lock full of water going to waste. Even more surprising was that the first boat was complaining about low pounds. The second boater we met was convinced he had been talking to me in The Folly the evening before, saying that I left early as I had to walk up to the Engine Arm to cook myself a meal. We left with him thinking I must have a brother. Just below the bottom lock a chap was repairing a BW flat full of crushed white stuff that they now spread on the towing path. Just round the bend we passed Derwent6 but no sign of life. I must say their brass put us to shame, about half a mile further I met the tug pushing an empty flat right on the bend, by the time I saw the roof of the tug, the bow of the flat was there. Still we got buy with no loss of paint only a slight loss of face as I had to back up to get round the bend after he had gone. I always go very slowly as I approach Nimrod Bridge as with its double bend its impossible to see anyone coming the other way. Today there was a work flat moored on the off side under the bridge, If I had have met a boat he would have had nowhere to go.  At the next bridge there is a big notice saying that there is ongoing work and boats may have to wait. The chap said we would need to wait 20 minuets. I don't know about others but I am finding time and time again there is no mention of expected delays on the stoppage page of Waterscape. If the towing path is obstructed in a town then that's there, but no mention of holdups for boats on the South Oxford where they are removing the A34 flyover or the works on bridge 107 Grand Union . We stopped briefly for water in Braunston and then threaded our way through all the moored boats to the bottom of the locks. There were 2 boats coming down and I was so close to the lock due to the moored boats that they had to single out to get round me. We went up alone and soon met another boat coming down, only they had all four paddles up. The Nelson is due to open Friday and starts doing food on Saturday, we will give it a try on our way back. We didn't meet anything in the tunnel and could easily see right through to the far end.  We intended to moor at Norton Junction but it was full up so we have gone up the Leicester Arm. A short way up here there are 3 working flats moored breasted up on the offside, they were there when we came up just after Christmas, I assumed they belong to BW but they now have BW patrol notices on them, is this like traffic wardens nicking police cars for parking? We had to go almost to Welton Marina before we could find a spot to moor. We tied up at about 5 15 pm.


You can see our latest position here

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