This morning started much brighter and we were away just before 10 am. We arrived at the Watford flight just as a boat was coming into the top lock, Diana fond the lock keeper and we were on our way as soon as this boat had cleared the lock. I upset the lock keeper by not drawing the red paddle first, there was no point as the next chamber was full to overflowing and when I did draw it to keep him happy the level actually fell by 6". I wasn't happy as he had seen me do it but went to tell Diana off. I think its a case of red before white is the only way to do it, don't think, just like some people walk up to a lock, raise both paddles before trying to open the gate when a lock is already full.
At the railway bridge there were two long lengths of tree in the cut, one was long enough to almost stretch from bank to bank, I guess they must have come down in the recent winds. At the winding hole I met a boat coming very slowly through the bridge, I held back to let him through only to find he was followed by two more, I don't know how far they had been following him but the back one looked right cheesed off. We met several boats between here and Braunston Tunnel but nothing in the tunnel which was just as well. I had not seen any boats ahead but half way through the tunnel I could see a shape silhouetted in the distance. I thought that maybe the contractors were working at the tunnel mouth but by the time we got there it was all clear. At the top lock there was a cruiser waiting to enter the lock and they were to wide to get through one gate so went down alone, it was them that I had followed through the tunnel and if they had met anyone it would have been tight. There were a few boats coming up the flight so at first it didn't make much difference to us letting them go ahead and a second boat joined us going down. Once we stopped meeting boats it became a pain as the lads with the cruiser left both bottom gates open as they went and just to top it all the boat we were sharing with stopped at the Nelson for a few days. We pushed on alone,finally meeting a couple of boats coming up at the bottom lock.
A short stop was made at The Stop House to fill with water before heading for the open countryside. Tia was moored opposite The Boatman on his way to Foxton for the weekend extravaganza so we stopped for a while to catch up on the new and examine his new "Bio degradable dog poo bags". We continued on our way to moor for the night just before bridge 99. There was only one other boat moored on this stretch when we arrived so we were able to moor well spaced out in the piece and quiet. Since then there have been several other boats arrive and until 10 minutes ago we had one each end running their engines. They stopped them at a few minutes to 8.
Since we have been moored here I have put a bit more paint on the roof over the rust patches, refill the stern greaser and cut the keep for the rear door bolt into the step. Its only 3 mm brass but it felt like standing on a brick.