Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Wednesday 1st August
We left the overnight mooring in a slight shower which soon disappeared and made our way to Crick where it was so quiet we had the pick of the moorings and pulled up next to the bridge.

* Quiet Crick
We locked up the boat and walked into the village to find the local shop. It was much closer to the canal than we had thought and the lady who runs it loved dogs so made a great fuss of Phoenix, They have a Shar-Pei and we were able to introduce them to one another.

* Shar-Pei
Having bought the paper and a few provisions we wondered back to the boat and spotted the Shetland ponies in the field next to the bridge. They are cute little things and in the USA they use similar small horses as Guides like our guide dogs. I am not sure I would like to take on such an animal and I am not too sure how useful they would be. Still it is America and anything seems to go there.

* Shetland ponies
After coffee we meandered our way through the 1528 yd Crick tunnel on to Watford Locks and arrived just as a boat was coming up the staircase. The Lockie said that it had been very quiet and lo and behold another 3 boats suddenly turned up behind us, including the hire boat we had followed up Foxton.
We were soon through the locks and stopped for lunch opposite the Weltonfield Marina. We had moored there when we had done the Leicester ring about 5 years ago and was still marked as a mooring spot in our Guide Book although there are now BW No Mooring Signs along most of its length.
After lunch we continued on to the junction and turned towards Braunston. The boat in front of us called us through as they said they were trying to moor but it was very shallow. They must have given up and proceeded to follow us towards and into the 2042 yd Braunston tunnel. We encountered 2 boats coming the other way, the first stopped and waited for me to pass him but his bow drifted out from the side as he had no forward motion and clipped our bow. Fortunately I was only moving very slowly and no damage was done.
We reached the Braunston Top lock which was full and a lady from a boat about to come up called us into the lock. I moved over as I assumed the boat behind would follow us into the lock but they just moored up, so we carried on by ourselves. This time we were lucky as at each locks there were boats coming up so we were through them in no time.

* June trying to cadge a Pint in the sun at The Admiral Nelson
In the pound between locks 5 and 4 there was a boat aground and it appeared that somebody had offered to help them through the locks and damaged their rudder so they had to wait there until an engineer could come and sort it for them.

* Leaving Braunston Lock No3 with that strange yellow disc in the sky.
We moored up outside the marina and took Phoenix a walk in the lovely evening sun. The towpath was very busy with walkers, dog walkers and cyclists but there were still a few mooring places. Boats however continued to go up the lock until quite late.
So it looks as though things are starting to get busier.

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