Saturday, 27 November 2010

Friday 26 November 2010 Napton Top Lock

Last night we walked up to the Red Lion to eat returning to the boat at about 10 pm in quite a sharp frost. I had to get up during the night and I could see that the canal was already frozen over.When we got up this morning it was still minus 5.5 after dropping to minus 6 last night and the canal was covered with half an inch of ice. This was much lower than was forecast.
We set off at 1030 stopping for water at the services, I had to breast up to a BW flat which had the new lock gates on ready for Broadmoor Lock which are due to be fitted on Monday. We were breaking ice all the way but all the locks were with us. The short pound on the Claydon flight was down about 30 inches, by looking at the ice line I think this may have dropped this morning. As we approached the top of the flight a lady appeared behind us with a windlass, I asked her if she was following us up as I had not noticed a boat behind, but she said she was meeting a friend who was on her way down, they had left Fenny Marina 15 minutes earlier so we should meet them on the way. We bit her farewell at the top lock, but we didn't meet her friends until just south of Fenny tunnel so I expect she was quite chilly by the time they arrived. The day was very bright but I don't think the temperature ever got above freezing all day.
Once we got to Fenny Marina we were breaking ice again, but not for long. Half way along the visitor moorings the channel was again broken which made life much easier, we followed this channel wondering if some one had been daft enough to go to Wormleighton to moor for the night, at Wormleighton we met the kind soul who had made this channel especially for us, it was a boat called "Helen of Troy" who had been all the way to Napton, turned and were returning to Fenny, so Helen of Troy, if you are reading this, a big thank you.
We arrived at Marston Doles locks in the dark and they were both against us and once below them I was unable to find the cut channel again. We wasted the best part of half an hour trying to get onto our moorings but the pound was so low we had no chance, so we have moored on the towing path opposite. By the time we had secured the boat the temperature had already dropped to minus 4 and things were freezing fast.

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