Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Plenty of Locks - Saturday 3rd October

We made an early start this morning and arrived at Watford Top lock just as the Volunteer Lock keeper was opening up. He said that we could go straight down and that he would let some water down behind us as the bottom pounds were usually low first thing in a morning. At the bottom of the staircase we met a boat load of New Zealanders coming up; they were on their way to shut up their boat in a marina for the winter and return home after 5 months here.

The canal on the stretch from the locks to Norton Junction is very narrow and overgrown with trees but it does make it look very attractive.


At the junction we turned sharp right and headed for Braunston Tunnel passing a few boats coming the other way. We entered the tunnel and could see a boat ahead of us so we were hopeful of sharing the double locks. As it happens there were already 2 boats waiting to go down and so we were able to team up with a smart looking chugger with a Lister engine.


It was very slow going as the two boats in front were not very lively and at one stage they shut the gates after two boats had come up without letting their own boats into the lock; this made it very difficult as there were six boats in the same pound. The owner of the working boat who had just come up could not believe his eyes and made some very apt comments. At Bridge 3 next to the Admiral Nelson Pub we had a few gongoozlers peering over the bridge at us.IMG_6824

We soon reached the bottom lock after one of the two boats in front moored in the pound below lock 3 and there were at least 6 boats waiting to come up all moored breasted up and  mixed in with the hire fleet based there.  We moored up near to the marina entrance and I went up to the village shop for the paper and to take Tiana a short walk. After lunch we set off again through Braunston, passing the time of day with Dolce Blue the Dutch Barge Narrowboat we had met in Paddington Basin.


As we exited the village there was a large field of sheep just below the church and in the next  another field full of Canadian Geese, (June counted 76). But around the corner from where we moored for the night I counted 165 in a field so you can see why they are becoming a pest.


After we had moored up for the day the canal seemed to get busier and busier with boats going in both directions.  Work boat Jaguar passed by towing its Butty Northolt, a very impressive sight.


After a cloudy day the sun eventually broke through and we had a nice evening. As it set it turned a beautiful bright red with it reflecting on the streaking clouds.


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