It was a bit windy last night and the old mooring ropes were creaking well at times. Like yesterday we were away at 8 am. on an overcast but fine day. The pair of ex working boats at Swing Bridge are still looking unloved and sorry for themselves.
Just through the bridge in Blisworth a boat drifted across the canal behind us, so we backed up, pushed it over and tied it to the boat on the inside of it. So if the owner of The Window Cleaner is reading this, that is why you boat is tied up with your centre line. and your original back line.
Blisworth tunnel was quite smoggy in the middle, but surprisingly dry. We met 4 boats on our way through, the first had an LED headlight and I must admit it was not as bad meeting it as I expected. The second had a big light, lighting the tunnel behind me as we met each other. The next one was an “Away4Awhile” boat with twin head lights pointing parallel to the water and straight ahead. To give the steerer his due, he did switch them off as I approached him, but he had no other light visible so I just had to hope he stayed to the side until I was close enough to see him with my light. Just a little white light on after he turned the others off would have been great, or just adjust the others and keep them on. By the time we met him we were in a real smelly smog but once passed it soon cleared so it must have been drifting north up the tunnel. I could see a light behind us now, it looked bright red in the smog. When we reached Stoke Bruerne top lock a boat was just coming out, some of you may know him, it was Will on Quidditch being assisted by a Volocky (volunteer Lock Keeper) We entered the lock and I explained there was a boat following so we would wait for them if no one was waiting to come up, so that is what we did. Eventually a lad on an elderly boat arrived, single handing and slipped in beside us. He had recently bought the boat and was heading for London. All the locks except 2 were against us but by using one gate and Diana working ahead we made good time.
Between here and Cosgrove lock two things happened, someone turned on a tap in the sky and a hire boat got between us and or student friend and there boating skills left a little bit to be desired. The student may have only owned his boat for a few days but he had found out how to drive it and now his locking skills were improving as well. Thankfully the hire boat stopped at the water point and our friend was sitting in Cosgrove lock waiting for someone to join him, so we locked down together. He moored up at the far end of the aqueduct and we waved goodbye to him, wishing him luck.
We had planned to stop just before the Black Horse pub for the night but as tomorrows forecast is worse than today’s we decided to push on for an hour. Just before the pub someone has put a “Parking Meter” in the edge of the canal, but it looks as if this chap has overstayed a bit to long.
We pushed on passed Giffard Park and Pennyland Basin until we caught up with a wide beam boat moving quite slowly, he pulled over and waved me passed as soon as he could and then followed me passed the Campbell Park Moorings to moor just ahead of us before bridge 82.