Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sunday 17 May Braunston to Yelvertoft

We woke to a very sunny morning but it quickly dulled over, as we took the dog for a very short walk we noticed a boat up by the locks, we had heard one go through before 8 but weren't ready to leave. We pushed off and caught up with the other boat, an Ownerships boat called "Silhouette" who were just closing the top gates, as we were to discover later the early boat had left all the top gates open. We met boats at all the locks except the one above the Nelson Pub and that also had the top gates open. With the steady flow coming towards us we made good progress up the flight where there were 4 boats waiting to come down. We met 2 boats very early in the tunnel and then nothing until almost the other end. Silhouette followed us in and I would suspect she is quite a confusing boat to meet in a tunnel, she has two headlight mounted in the top corners of the cabin, so from a distance it looks like a breasted pair coming towards you. We met a third boat when we were almost through the tunnel, they had an interesting way of steering  about 15 degrees to the right with the bow bouncing on and off the tunnel wall and the stern about 18" out.   By the time we cleared the tunnel it was raining steadily and this didn't clear until about mid day. Between the tunnel and Norton Junction BW/Morrisons are rebuilding the bank and towing path, do we really want miles of surfaced towing paths running through the country side? At Norton Junction we turned left onto the Leicester Branch and stopped just through the foot bridge for water, The service moorings are quite short and the tap close to the bridge so if your water filler is near the bows like ours, your stern ends up almost in the bridge hole. While we were taking water n.b.Herbie came passed, they only went as far as the marina and then winded so we passed a second time. There was no queue at the Watford flight and we just had to wait for one boat to come down the last 2 locks before we could go up. Diana had a bit of trouble at the top lock as the bottom gate kept blowing open, she went back twice to close it so I told her to open the top paddle a couple of clicks, this resulted in the lock keeper shouting at her for opening the paddle with a gate open. I told her to ignore him and just walk back an close it. He didn't say a word, as he was obviously watching it would not have hurt him to have just walked over and opened the paddle when Diana went back for the second time. At the top of the locks we passed n.b. Caxton just as they were about to push off and they followed us all the way to Crick. We continued on passed the new marina that is going to be dug at Yelvertoft, if the miles of plastic fencing are anything to go by it will make Wigrams Turn Marina look like a fish pond. We had just got through Yelvertoft village and past the long term moorings when my umbrella blew inside out with the squally rain so we have moored right in the far end of the visitor moorings

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