I like the moorings right outside The Boathouse, it shields the noise from the road and is very handy for coming back after a pint and a meal.
This morning we woke a bit earlier than normal for us to a cold wet day. A quick walk round to Midland Chandlers to spend all of 50 p and back to the boat ready to set off at 9-30 am.
Spot on 9-30 am and our Belgian passenger was just across the cut taking my photo in the rain. He walked down a bit and we pushed off across the cut and picked him up. It was Michel Van den Berghe http://www.thebw.net/ who is photographing the British Canal System. We took him as far as Calcutt Locks so he could walk the GU.
Unfortunately the two sunken boats are still at Braunston are still there and I wonder if they will ever be lifted. I hope the second doesn't get vandalised before it can be lifted.
BW have been hard at work, or their contractors have cutting back the trees on the offside which is improving the viability on bends and at bridge holes quite a bit. Some one has also erected an owl box on the offside, it's the first I have seen in the area. Michel stood on the front deck all the way in the rain taking more photographs.
Over the years someone has been building a house and what looks like a smallholding near Fox Gate, it started off looking like a shed, then a barn, after this it went up a bit with a pitched roof and now its topped with thatch.
Work is still going on at Calcutt top lock with rebuilding the lower offside landing stage, I found it interesting to see the culverts that run the length of the lock from the ground paddles, these allow the water to enter the lock at 3 separate points and not all at the head as is common practice. The pond between the locks not only holds a great deal of mud but also several fenders and other debris. I wonder if any of this will be removed before the flight is refilled.
After saying farewell to our guest at the locks we winded and headed back to Napton Turn where we turned hard right and continued on to The Napton flight where we found all the locks against us as usual and raining. We made good progress and were soon in sight of the boat ahead and at lock 13 they drew the bottom paddles as they left for us. Then the strange thing happened, by the time we reached lock 14 there was no sign of them, we had been gaining on them all the way up the flight, the last but one lock was almost ready for us, but by the end of the next pound they had vanished.
We stopped in the top lock and unloaded into the car before taking Harnser back to her moorings and heading home .