Wednesday 19 September 2012

Wednesday 19 September 2012 Holt Farm

Last night every visitor mooring in Fenny Compton was full, with boats moored on bends and in bridge holes and all the time there was 300 foot of empty long term mooring,a smallDSCF0058 with mooring rings sitting there just waiting to be used.
Dinner was taken at The Wharf where unfortunately Diana’s dinner came with cold mashed potato and had to be sent back, but it was soon rectified with a fresh portion, an added bonus was they had Black Sheep Bitter on.
We found the railway a bit intrusive which was a surprise considering we were moored to the north of the pub and bridge. We were away at quarter to ten having to wait at the bridge as a boat had just left the water point coming towards us and another was winding. By the time we went through the bridge there were two others waiting to go through and two more boat on the water points. It was 15 minutes before we passed where we had moored last night.a smallDSCF0055

We met several boats on the first part of our journey and about half way to Marston Doles we had two boats catch up with us so we pulled over to let them pass, only to catch up with the back one at Marston Doles top lock, but it didn’t matter as we wanted to fill with water and as its not the fastest tap in the world we also ate our dinner. Boats came and went, we were full of water just as a boat came up the lock, a lady looked round the corner, I thought she was on the boat coming out of the lock so I indicated that we were coming down. It turned out that she was actually the lady from n.b. Herbie who was coming up the lock to wind and then heading to Calcutt to have a vibration on their BMC engine checked out. Once down the two locks we stopped at Holt Farm where we use to moor as we are planning to leave Harnser here for a couple of days.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

18 September 2012 Fenny Compton

We set off at our normal 10 am. by which time several boats had passed in each direction, some slowly and some not so slowly, I was glad I was on the piling and not pins. I met a boat on the first bend, as we passed the apex we both straightened and passed each other nicely, the problem was with the one right behind him that he failed to mention. Stopping dragged the bum back into the silt, a smallDSCF0043(I forgot to mention the pound dropped by four inches overnight.) leaving me right across the cut, we both passed on the wrong side.
Diana went ashore to walk to Wormleighton bends, picking a few Blackberry's as she went. I watched as she made her way along the towing path a smallDSCF0048when I could see her behind the tree saplings , I then noticed she hopped over something, once passed and  looking back I could see it was a string tied to canal side sapling and to a wooden pallet laying in the hedge, a smallDSCF0049good job it wasn’t dark. Just south of the bends was a boat with an interesting paint job, he was on his way to Warwick but not sure where he was, he knew he had to turn left somewhere. a smallDSCF0051From the notices on the front of the boat it seems its a towing path take away service. At the next bridge hole there were 4 contractors cutting the towing path so I had a word about the pallet and string, they would reach it within the hour and sort it out. What was the next thing we saw, a boat moored by the centre rope a smallDSCF0052right across the towing path to the hedge. I doubt it was the owner who tied it up like that.
We continued on to Fenny Compton, the long term moorings north of the pub just before the visitor moorings are completely empty, not a single boat in residence. We pulled in on the bend of the visitor moorings and had just finished mooring up when a boat on the straight section moved off, so we dragged forward a couple of hundred foot and are now close to the bank secured to a ring at each end. It was 1 o’clock when we tied up and I have had done a bit more to the rusting roof.

One thing that puzzles me, with a long pound like the summit of the oxford canal how much is the level likely to vary along its length with water being draw off at each end down the locks, it must slope from the centre to the ends a bit, but how much?

Monday 17 September 2012

Monday 17 September 2012 Priors Hardwick

Early shout this morning as people wanted to be on there way and as we were moored 3 deep some shuffling was in order. Enseabee on the inside of us wanted to be away at about half nine, but we  had the bows of two boat overlapping us, one at each end. NB Helmsman had already wriggled out from inside Lord Toulouse and had winded and was heading back up passed the fleet. I thought the easiest thing to do would to be to join them up the flight, so Jannock dropped off our stern to the off side and we slipped out backwards to follow Helmsman to the bottom lock. We weren't expecting a very good run as NB Rosy had left much earlier and went up alone, but luck was with us and we met 6 boats in the flight so lock turning was kept to a minimum and leaving gates open became the order of the day. We lead thea smallDSCF0035 way to the Calcutt three where our luck ran out  as we now had a boat ahead of us and had to turn every one.
At  Wigrams Turn Helmsman went to the left and we went to the right. There were only a couple of boats moored outside The Bridge Inn but the pub has an interesting selection of chalk boards outside inviting people in. Passing the winding hole just prior to The Folly Pub a boat coming towards us told us the flight was closed due to a boat getting stuck under Shut Bridge trying to get into the lock. This information was repeated as we passed the many moored boats with advice to moor as soon as we found space, but as we required water we carried on hoping to be able to get near a tap. When we rounded the bend there were only 3 boats waiting for the locks so the water point was free. Before we had finished filling with water a boat came down, they had  winched the offending motorised butty out backwards and she was making her way down the flight, but CaRT were expecting problems at the second lock as it turned out she got stuck there yesterday. We made our way up the flight with the CaRT supervisor who was going to flush her through, but before we even reached the second lock we could see clouds ofa smallDSCF0038 smoke, a boat coming down with his fenders down had jammed solid. Once Steve from CaRT arrived they were soon on there way as he flushed them out  with a fully drawn top paddle. As the boat passed me the chap was complaining about the narrow lock, I suggested it might be a good idea to lift his fenders before locking to which he replied that doing that risked damaging the hooks that his hood attached to. We met the butty two locks further up where they were waiting for Steve to supervise her backing down and for us to pass as all traffic behind us had been held at the bottom of the flight.

The boat ahead of us had an interesting way of driving, he was standing on a caravan step on the trad stern deck and stepping offa smallDSCF0039 from side to side to see the lock walls.

Once clear of Marston Doles locks we carried to find somewhere to moor, The moorings at the top of the lock were full as were the first section of piling, unfortunately that is on the outside of a long bend, where of course I met the only boat we saw coming the other way and I was well off the line.
We found a nice straight section of piling at Priors Hardwick and moored at quarter to five, a little later than we had planned.

Saturday 15 September 2012

Friday 14 September 2012 Blue Lias, Stockton

We left our moorings at 9-30 am. backwards, dropping down to fill with water before winding and going down the Calcutt flight.a smallDSCF9980

As there were no other boats in sight we headed off down alone, but just as we were leaving the first lock a boat entered the bottom so we waited for them to work up before going any further. They informed us that there was a Kate hire boat moored on the bottom lock landing with no sign of life. Sure enough there it was secured by just the middle rope.

We met a few boats in the long pound to the Stockton fight and passed Jannock moored some way before the locks.a smallDSCF9981

Just above the locks we passed Stockton Marina who were getting their hire boats ready to leave, its a pity they feel it necessary to moor them three abreast almost opposite the long term moorings.a smallDSCF9982 It  would also help if they tied then tightly so they didn’t swing out and bash you as you swing round them, there isn’t room to take a straight line.

Stockton top lock was ready for us but the rest were empty, as worked the top lock Diana went to the second when we noticed a single hander working up. It turned out to be Callisto selling coal and diesel and working alone. A few locks later we met two more boats coming up and then shortly after that two more so we didn’t have a bad run down.

As we stuck our nose through the bridge hole at the bottom we could see that there were already lots of boats moored at the Blue Lias for the 2012 CIBC rally, some already doubled up. After winding we came along Enseebee a Dutch barge styled Narrowboat who is about the same length as us and have a nice flat stern deck.

So 2 PM. on a Friday afternoon and that is the end of our travels for the weekend. We will be staying meeting friends that some we have not seen for 12 months or more and some we have never met before.
As the afternoon continued more boats arrived and we walked up the flight to help a pair down, one who was single handing. We arrived at the top of the flight before them and helped a hire boat on their way. While we were waiting another hire boat came down so I turned the lock for them so that they could join the other hire boat in the second lock, but it wasn’t to be.
It turned out that Kate Boats had brought them down to show them how to work the lock and their intention was just to work through the lock and then go back up towards Calcutt. This meant that they received instruction in not only going down through a wide lock, but also coming up. So at least one yard make a good effort to ensure there customers know what they are doing.
By the end of the afternoon there were 16 boats moored outside The Blue Lias 3 deep. a smallDSCF9998This did result in a bit of boat shuffling to get them all in and we had to slide Laplander from the middle of the moorings to the end and then draw the 3 moored abreast of each other from the end forward to allow another couple of boats to just get there bows in at the very bottom of pub moorings. There are also 2 caravans and several visiting for the day by car.

Thursday 13 September 2012

Thursday September 13 2012 Calcutt locks

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 lighta smallDSCF9961. 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.

a smallDSCF9964

  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 a smallDSCF9966house the owners scooter and judging by the washing she is female.
The sheep were sunning themselves laying out in lines on ta smallDSCF9967he 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 a smallDSCF9974time wheeling and swooping over the stubble fields. 
At Wigrams we turned left towards Calcutt locks. The base of the old bridge along herea smallDSCF9975 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.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Wednesday 12 September 2012 Hillmorton

We left our moorings at 1040 hrs. and headed off towards Braunston. A hire boat followed us into the tunnela smallDSCF9940 and soon came up behind us at the locks so we worked down together. We met a few boats in the flight but had to turn a couple of locks. We stopped for water in Braunston and met up with some old friends before heading off up the North Oxford passing Draco on the way.

Work is on going on the two bridgesa smallDSCF9947 that were on the verge of falling down with the foundations being underpinned they should be good for a few more years.
There are quite a few boats in the new Barby Marian a smallDSCF9956at the beginning of Barby Straight but still no sign of any buildings. We were heading to the Bistro at Hillmorton but unfortunately they were not open tonight so I winded in the flight and headed back up to The Royal Oak for the night.
One of the middle locks of the Hillmorton flight is closed for repair and its partner is leaking very badly from the top gates, in thea smallDSCF9958 time it took for us to go from closing the bottom gates to winding the top paddles it had made about an inch. 
The moorings outside the Old Royal Oak are marked “Private” but the name Blue Haven Marina has been removed so I enquired in the pub if we would be OK moored here for the night and received a positive reply. Since we have been here we have had 3mm of rain, so we stopped none to soon.The food in the Old Royal Oak wasn’t bad and good value for the price, 2 courses and a pint each only came to £22 but given the choice I would rather have eaten at the Bistro.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Tuesday 11 September 2012 Weltonfield

Yesterday afternoon we received the news that the Watford flight was closed until further notice due to a paddle failure in the flight so there was no point in setting off this morning. A friend who was waiting at the top of the flight kept us informed of progress and rang about 2 pm to say they were re-watering the flight. We set off slowly arriving at the top of the locks, 8th. in the queue at 3 pm. just as the first boat had come up.
After tying up and booking in with the lock keeper we set to with windlasses helping the waiting boats up and down the flight.
I think we probably helped 15 or more boats up and down before it was our turn to make our way down, there were only two more boats behind us. We cleared the flight at 1850 hrs. feeling like we had walked 5 miles. It was getting dusk when we moored a short way past the entrance to Weltonfield Marina on the first available stretch of piling. It wasn’t long before the hire boat that was following us pulled in just ahead of us and about 5 minutes later the last boat moored just ahead of them.

Monday 10 September 2012

Monday 10 September 2012

We set off about 1015 this morning, letting the boat moored in front get away a bit first, it wasn’t long before we were followed by the boat moored behind us with two Suffolk couples onboard.

You may remember a few years back a trailer fell through one of the bridges demolishing all one side of it, probably number 31 or 32, it was well over a year before it was rebuilt and within the brickwork they have included this concrete structurea smallDSCF9923.
A little further on just trough a bridge hole someone had “found” a motorcycle, its a pity they could not have completely removed it from the watera smallDSCF9924.
I spotted this boat with a notice on the back on our way north an I wonder if it excuses him from obeying the waterways bye laws on engine running timesa smallDSCF9925.

We pulled over under the A14 road crossing to clear the prop, there was nothing more than a few twigs around the shaft in front of the prop but removing them made quite a difference to our performance. This also allowed the boat following to pass us, I don’t  like being followed.

If you walk this section of towing path you need to take great care as the local Badgers have been very hard at work with a hole in the towing path as well as one just behind the piling and another in the bank.a smallDSCF9927 Also I note that they don’t put any “Defra Rash” (orange mesh) around their worksite unlike others who dig holes where the public may be present.

We stopped at Yelvertoft to fill with water, while  we were there I put the computer on charge and discovered its a BT Hotspot so was able to download  my emails. Once topped up with water we continued on to Crick and moored opposite the marina.

Boat wise today has been quite busy and we have met 20 boats in our 4 hour journey, we have also seen 4 that we know, Copperkins II, Lord Toulouse, Oakfield and Tia. The weather stayed dry for us, but rained shortly after we had moor up at about 3 pm. I have also noticed that the number of Swallows we have seen each day is getting less and less, just one small bunch of about half a dozen today, I don’t expect it will be long before its none.

Sunday 9 September 2012

Sunday 9 September 2012 Welford Junction

Last night we ate at The Water Front at the end of the basin, its the building to the left of the photograph below.a smallDSCF9916

a smallDSCF9917


This morning we went for a walk from the basin round to the canal and back. As I passed the flats a gent made a comment about our boat name and asked if we came from Norfolk. It transpired that they came from Lowestoft and now owned one of the second floor flats in what use to be the if recent times the boat yard, prior to that it was an old warehouse. We were invited in for a look round and it was super, I took the two photos above from there top story balcony.

a smallDSCF9918

We pushed off from our moorings at 1030 this morning meeting several boats as we made our way to Foxton  Locks. There were no other boats waiting to go up, but due to the trip boata smallDSCF9920 operating from the bottom of the locks by The Bridge 61 you can’t wait at the bottom of the flight so I slid to the other side to wait. Diana went to see the lock keeper and we had to wait for a boat coming down, then we could go as fare as the middle pound and wait for 4 more to come down. We were in the actual flight for one and three quarters of a hour, probably the slowest I have ever done it. When we reached the middle the last 2 boats hadn’t even entered the flight. A CaRT volunteer was driving a hire boat down for some reason, even the lock keeper didn’t know why, but he expected the volunteer look keeper to do all the work for him while he just stood and drove. Once clear of the flight we soon caught up with a day boat from Kilworth Wharf. We passed several live aboard boats but the occupants all seemed to be out. One of them was offering drawings for commissions and lookinga smallDSCF9921 what was on the side of the boat they were not bad. Just ahead, I think they are together the chap does wood carving with a chain saw and disk sander, he had some nice planters in the fronta smallDSCF9922 of his boat. We were still ticking along behind the day boat, the weather was nice and we didn’t mind, we are not in a hurry, however I did draw the line and overtook him at the mouth of Bosworth Tunnel, he was all lined up to go when he saw a boat enter the far end, so pulled over to the side and waited, at this point I went passed him. We met the other boat about half way through the tunnel and we were within 200 yard of the far end before the day boat entered. We moored for the night against the concrete edging, complete with rings at Welford Junction at 5 pm. Diana decided that she was going to wash the side of the boat which actually meant I had to do my bit as well. While we were working away and elderly couple came by and stopped to talk, like all good coincidences it turned out that he lives in Suffolk as well. They had never seen a canal before but their friend had brought them away for a week and they had been to Market Harborough, Foxton incline plane museum and were really enjoying it.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Saturday 8 Sept 2012 Market Harborough

What a lovely mooring it is up here at Smeeton Aqueduct, I can see why some people spend all weekend here.
A bit of a late start today and we didn’t get away until 10-30 am. a short way down the canal to wind and then make our way back to Foxton. We only met a couple of day boats and a couple of Narrowboats. At Foxton there was no one waiting to go up and no sign of anyone having just come down. We headed off down the Market Harborough where we stopped for a chat with nb.Tia who use to be on the same mooring as us at Napton. We met a few boats leaving Market Harborough which was good as that would mean there would be free moorings. A little further down the arm a heard of cows were cooling down on a warm afternoon.a smallDSCF9906

We went into the basin to wind and stopped for a chat with  nb. First Fruit, we first met them down the Nene about 4 years ago when they had their old boat. We pulled out of the basin to moor for the night at about 3-30 pm. it wasn’t long after this that one of the day boats returned and dropped its passengers off at the bottom of a garden on the offside. They all sounded a bit merrya smallDSCF9909 and I am sure the boat stability certificate doesn’t cover people riding on the roof.

Friday 7 September 2012

Friday 7 September 2012 Smeeton Aqueduct

Last nights meal in the Wharf was first class, I had a very nice Sheppard's Pie and Diana the fish washed down with a couple of pints of beer, they actually had 6 on the pumps all at £3-10 a pint but we only managed to try 3. The Wharf and the other pub in the village, The Elizabethan are both owned by the same people.

I am glad we didn’t moor at the very end of the arm last night as when we looked out this morning there was a tanker unloading the cesspit and it was smoky, noisy and smelly. We had to wait a bit before we could wind as a boat was on the water point filling and emptying tanks and a second had moved down and was across the winding hole opposite the dry dock. I could probably have got round with him there but it was easier just to wait, we still made the junction at 11 am. Back on the mainline it was off towards Foxton. Husbands Bosworth tunnel was dry and we didn’t meet anyone, we did manage to catch up to a boat that had left the moorings before us, however once out in the daylight he was off again. By now it was getting quite warm with a clear blue skya smallDSCF9899. One of the main tasks was to keep an eye out for nb. Kinver who was coming towards us. they were due to the top of Foxton at 11 but were running late, so cakes had to be handed over on the move and they were well worth the effort.

We arrived at the top of Foxton just as the volunteer lock keeper locked the boat ahead of us in, but Diana had to walk to the bottom to book us in, just follow the one ahead he said, so she walked back to the top and told the lock keeper and away we went. Its a pity CaRT can’t run to a pair of PRM Radios so that top and bottom lock keepers could talk to each other. a smallDSCF9904Part way down the flight a team were painting the lock beams, I guess they are volunteers, strange thing is they weren’t wearing lifejackets when normally people working by lock are these days!
It was a steady run down with on one following and no one waiting at the bottom.
Once down we turned left and met two boats from The London Narrow Boat Project who are based in Braunston, so I expect they are doing the Leicester ring. We continued as far as Smeeton Aqueduct where we have moored for the night. It is now 5 PM and is still very warm outside, the internet signal is rubbish, so you will get this when you get it.

Thursday 6 September 2012

Thursday 6 September 2012 Welford

We pushed off at quarter to ten, the cruiser that was moored ahead of us was already gone.a smallDSCF9885
First stop was just through the railway bridge on the off side where a householder has a stall selling home made produce.a smallDSCF9887
Just beside this house the ex-working boat Dodona is moored, behind her the owner has a fine selection of toys on the fence posts and hanging from the trees.a smallDSCF9886

We arrived at the bottom of the Watford flight with no other boats waiting. I walked up the flight to book in with the lock keeper and we were straight up as were the two boats behind us.
As we passed under the railway bridge an Eddie Stobart train was passing over head in its smart blue livery.a smallDSCF9890 
a smallDSCF9891The far end of the tunnel was very wet as usual but we didn’t meet anyone and the boat coming up the flight behind us was no where in site.
We pulled over in Crick to fill with water and still didn’t see any boats on the move. We pushed on towards the Welford of the Arm and the latter half journey was quite busy, probably the most boats I have ever seen on this section. At one point i spotted some notices pinned to trees so pulled over to photo one.a smallDSCF9895 Its CaRT trying to raise cash to look after voles. As we approached the junction the gliders were about being towed a smallDSCF9897into the air by tow planes. A couple of minutes after 4 pm and we turned into the arm, when we arrived at the lock an ex-Challenger boat had just left and another was entering above it, behind them was yet another ex-Challenger, 3 in a row followed by a private boat. The first boat was full of doom and gloom, it was full, no room, may be better to back out down the arm than trying to turn. We pushed on regardless and their were three mooring spaces big enough for us to get into, so we are quite happy. To night we will eat in the pub, but if you visit and fancy a Chinese then the pub up in the villages does Chinese most evenings except for the night it dose Pizza.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Wednesday September 5 2012 Welton

Surprisingly last night we didn’t hear the train at all, we did however hear the low hum of the motorway.a smallDSCF9869 We pushed off at our normal 10 o’clock this morning thinking the canal was not that busy.
Our first stop of the day was at Stow Hill to fill with diesel at 89p/lt for none propulsion and like all good outlets they let the costumer decide what percentage they intend to use for propulsion.
As we passed through Bugbrooke opposite the marina there is a No Mooring sign indicating that you should not moor opposite thea smallDSCF9874 entrance, some people obviously have a problem with this idea.
I often wonder when I see notices like “Slow Down” and “Which part of Slow Down don’t you understand” why people have to be so insulting and rude. I would much rather see a sign like this one and be more likely not to speed up.a smallDSCF9876

We arrived at the bottom of the Buckby flight to find we were 7th in the queue, by the time we went up the first lock we had been joined by two more boats, needless to say number 8 was a single hander. We met several boats in the flight and it was 5-30 before we left the top lock so the flight was reasonably busy. One thing that did stick out was that CaRT had left one of their tugs half way up the flight on the lock moorings. This was on a pound that was piled from lock to lock so with the aid of a piece of chain they could have secured it anywhere rather than leaving it right in the way. In the top pound of the flight on the offside one of the houses has a rather charming planter at the front of the house.a small boat

Once clear of the flight we head off up the Leicester Line passing several boaters that we know on the way. We were planning to moor just outside Welton Field marina but that section was full so we had to go a short way further the next section of piling.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Tuesday Sept 4 2012 GU Gayton

Last night the sun set right over the weir, unfortunatelya smallDSCF9844 my level of skill photographing such events is not very high. 
This morning we said goodbye to our friends on K2 at  twenty toa smallDSCF9855 ten and made our way upstream for a pump out, I winded just before the river narrowed and reversed to the service point so that the connections were on the bank side. One of the first jobs at the services was to clean the pontoon down, it looked as if someone had used it as a toilet.
We pumped our tank and filled with water before continuing on  backwards winding again before the the town lock. There was a boat on the lock moorings so we enquired if they were going up only to be told there was a trip boat, actually it was the St John boat taking a party of disabled coming down. So I asked if they were going up after it was down.Yes, but not for a bit as we are about to have breakfast she said, so we went without them.
We stopped in the town to go to Morrison’s for some shopping and also had lunch before setting off again.
We reached the bottom of the Northampton Arm at 1300 hrs. and I picked up a blade full of brightly coloured polly entering the lock, a good start, luckily a good bang of reverse followed by full ahead sent it shooting out the back. The EA have a nice sign by thea smallDSCF9858 lock giving information on strong river flows.
The first few of miles of the Northampton Arm are a disgrace, The reed growth is such that the channel is only 7 ft. wide and that is absolutely weed bound and because of the thick reeds the water flow around the boat is held back pulling the weed up. I would not think that this canal has seen a weed cutting boat in 10 years and thinking about it I have never seen a British Waterways weed cutter. By bridge 9 there are actually mooring bollards ona smallDSCF9859 the bank, but you can’t get in due to the weeds. A bit further on a length of towing path is closed for 6 months for Health and Safety reasons until it can be repaired, there is no alternative route but when you consider it about 14 wide its hard to imagine what the problem can be. Once past lock 15 things get much easier and the locks are nicely spaced for working ahead. Part way up a gent asked if I would like him to close the gate for me which was good, he then said he enjoyed my blog. Thank you Simon, it was very nice meeting you.
We came out of the top lock at 1720 hrs., so it had taken us just under four and half hours with the locks against us which wasn’t to bad considering it took 2 hours to do the first 3 miles with only 2 locks.
Once back on the Main Line of the Grand Union Canal we turned right and after about a mile pulled over to moor for the night at almost spot on 6 pm.