The sun was shining through the porthole straight into my face at 6-30 this morning, we moved off at 10 and by 10-30 it was raining, thankfully it didn’t last. We had to stop at Midland Chandlers to pick up the new Boatman’s Premier stove and we pulled in to MC wharf beside an New Zealand boat that was having a new set of batteries fitted.
The traffic was mayhem, a hire boat had stopped across the arm of Braunston Junction and wanted to tern round by backing up and just sticking his bow in the Napton direction, he may have made it if we and the other boat had not been there, eventually he conceded to listen and go forward towards Napton and then backwards on the other side or the triangle towards Braunston and then forwards again towards Rugby, where he had come from.
Next a Napton hire boat came from Napton towards Rugby, she was steering and he was operating the speed and gear control. not a good combination, not only did they hit another Napton boat but they looked as if they were playing that game where 2 players put there feet and hands on different numbered rings. This was rapidly followed by a Black prince going from Braunston to Napton at the same time as an ex Ownerships stopped with his bow across the junction, the BP hit the concrete edging and so it went on.
We collected our stove and headed off towards Napton in surprisingly light traffic seeing very few boats on the move at all. We considered mooring just past Napton Narrowboats to visit the Kings Head for lunch but the moorings were chocker block, we also met a BW tug pushing a flat at this spot with a load of what looked like stop planks on board. The next option was to stop at The Bridge where again surprisingly there were only 3 other boats moored.
Following a pleasant lunch and a pint we were on the move again only to have a chap tell us that there was a 2 hour wait at the Napton flight as he had just walked from there. On the strength of that information and the fact that 2 boats came by as I was waiting to push off we chugged slowly round the hill, passing BW installing piling just before the winding hole only to find that the boat ahead had moored up, the other was getting water, a third was at the sani station and the lock was empty, result, straight in and up, most of the locks were against us and we only met a couple of boats coming down, but by now the sun was out which made a big difference to the world.
We arrived at the top of the flight and winded in the engine arm before dropping onto our moorings at about 4-30. We will slide down to the lock later to unload the boat and fill up with water. Since we have been here there has been a steady flow going up and down plus a couple winding in the arm. Tomorrow its hopefully home with the AA.
60 Miles 22 locks and 2 AA lorries