Monday, 7 September 2009

IWA National back to Napton

Saturday

Again we were off at 9-30 am. first stop Watford Locks where we booked in with Madam Lock Keeper, if you are not booked in you are not in the queue and we were third to go down after the three coming up cleared the flight. By the time we went down there was at least another three behind us and six at the bottom. The normal routine when the flight is busy is 3 up and then 3 down. Once we reached Norton Junction we started meeting hire boats, we had seen very few other than Canaltime over the past few days, but that was about to change. We met 4 boats in Braunston Tunnel, one at the first S bend, but he held back for me so I could complete the bend before passing him and one on the slight S bent at the Braunston end. BW have started work on the site of the land slide by the tunnel mouth by improving the land drainage, but have done nothing about removing the obstruction. We didn't have to turn any locks on the Braunston flight due to boats coming up but we did have to wait while some were turned as we left the lock above. We found a boat moored under the bridge at the foot of lock 2 but a boater coming up moved it as we were leaving the lock and tied it to the piling. We stopped for water at The Toll House and then pushed on with a view to stopping at The Bridge, Napton. That plan changed as we continued on as Diana said she had food in the freezer she wanted to use up. This was a good decision as there were boats moored both sides of the bridge by the pub including across the winding hole. As we approached the A 45 bridge just before the Mill House I could see clouds of white smoke or steam and expected to meet a steam boat at the bridge , so held back. I was therefore more than slightly surprised when a Willow  Wren boat from  Rugby came through with not only a group of chaps on the roof but also a BBQ that was causing all the smoke, I am glad I wasn't going to share the locks with them!  A short way before Wigrams Turn we met a broad beamed boat, as we passed I asked him if he intended to go through the tunnel to which he replied "yes" I can only assume he didn't know about the landslide that happened about two years ago closing half the canal, I doubt he will get past it. We arrived at the bottom of the Napton flight just as a Napton Narrowboats hire boat was about to go up, it was their first lock and the yard had told them to moor before the locks and they would send someone out in the morning to show them how to lock up, unfortunately there were no vacant moorings by the Folly so they rand the yard and told them they were going to push on. Just as the boat was entering the lock the yard rang them, so this young lady is trying to steer into her first lock, stop in the right place and talk on the phone, she did well doing 2 out of 3 and only failing to stop until she hit the cill. The yard were still on the phone as she was about to drive out of the lock. We helped them and gave as much information as we could and as we followed them up two more locks they looked to be doing OK. We arrived at our moorings at about 7-30 pm. winded and got in reasonably easy as the water level was well up.


This is the end of our present journey.

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