Well it rained all night and it rained on and off most of the morning. We left at quarter to ten and a boater told me there was a queue for Cropredy lock, there were 2 boats ahead so not to bad. I dropped Diana off to dump rubbish and visit the shop for a jar of Horse Radish. The bins at Cropredy were overflowing, its probably since the festival.
Below the lock we came up behind Nb. Jameson a sort of self catering hotel boat. They can take up to 4 guests and each day the owners arrive in the morning and drive the boat all day and then leave you for the night, returning after breakfast the next day. They try to moor overnight by a pub or restaurant so the guests can go out to eat if they like. You can see full details on their web site http://www.skipperednarrowboat.co.uk/ We were to follow them all the way to the top of the Claydon Flight, helping at each lock.
As we locked up Cropredy Lock a group of about 45 Ramblers came by, I tried to count them but failed as they dodged round the lock gates etc. The bottom lock of the Claydon Flight is the only lock I have seen that still has cast iron bottom gates, Hillmorton had one until a few years ago when the were deemed beyond repair. You will see they have wooden beams, unlike the pair in the unused lock at Stoke Bruerne. We met boats at every lock but that only slowed things down. there were those who chatted when the lock was empty before considering moving, one who had a discussion before untying to go into a lock when the gates were open and it was empty, some stopped so far back you weren’t sure if they were using the lock or mooring up. All in all a slow run, once we reached the top of the flight the boats seemed to dry up. We stopped at Fenny Compton to talk with old friends we had a share boat with and only one boat passed in each direction, much different to the morning. We needed water but there were two boats on the water point, the back one didn’t realise that there were two taps, the front one had finished but where having a late lunch, so we lay alongside them and used their hose to fill our tank. That all out of the way we carried on to Wormleighton where 2 boats thought it would be a good idea to moor on the outside of the bend just through Griffins Bridge 131 not the best spot to chose. We moored for the night just before Ladder Bridge 129. By now we had lovely clear blue sky and late afternoon sunshine.