We set off at 9 30 this morning from what was a very peaceful night. The trains are almost inaudible once inside the boat and the road traffic very light. Interestingly the white notice on the front of the pub between the left hand window and the gable end states that its a mile and a half to Braunston in one direction and a mile and a half in the opposite direction to Newbold.
The weather was bright, sunny but cool, it had dropped below 4°C last night, Just before we set off CaRT went by on a short flat, these have a small engine in the front connected to a hydraulic pump and a submersed hydraulic motor with a propeller attached which is also used to steer like an outboard engine. We passed them later doing offside inspections of culverts.
As we were not in any hurry we were just ticking along and were soon caught up by a Narrowboat that sells crochet work, so we pulled over to let her pass, not far behind her was a Braidbar boat so we pulled over to let him passed as well, he commented that it was the first time he had ever overtaken another boat.
Work was still on-going with the repair to the bridges, but I am not sure that underpinning will keep them safe for another 200 years if the ground is settling.
We passed a pair of boat closely coupled together, I am not sure the they propel both of them with the back one with an outboard engine or not, but it has a very useful stern deck to house the owners scooter and judging by the washing she is female.
The sheep were sunning themselves laying out in lines on the ancient ridge and furrow pastures that this part of the world is famous for. We rounded Braunston turn with nothing coming towards us. It was good to see that the boat that was sunk on the Puddle banks has now been re-floated, she is fitted with trade plates so maybe someone is restoring her. As we made our way slowly towards Wigrams Turn we met several boats but surprisingly no one caught us up. The Seagulls were having a fine time wheeling and swooping over the stubble fields.
At Wigrams we turned left towards Calcutt locks. The base of the old bridge along here has taken quite a battering since we were last this way. Once at the top of the locks we winded to face the way we had just come from. This was so we could wash the roof and left hand side of the boat, you may recall we did the right hand side earlier this trip.
Since we have been here we have seen a couple of boats of note. The first was Mumbles being single handed down the locks. the only reference I can find to her online is in Debdale’s Blog . Mumbles is the little sister of Rumpus that was rebuilt by Brian a friend of ours. The other boat was a freshly blacked ex-working motorboat Dragon. It was a little after 7 pm when she came down to the locks, the distinctive sound of her Bolinder engine blowing smoke rings into the air.