Day 13 – Braunston to Yelvertoft (ish)

Hours cruised –  7 – plus a 2 hour wait at Watford

Intertesting people met – a number

Domestics narrowly avoided – 1 – not ours I might add

Classic Album – Pink Floyd – Dark side of the Moon

Well the plan pretty much worked! Admittedly it was 8 that I got to the butchers, and 9 when we left, but other than that, the plan came together pretty much, well… as planned! Got to the bottom of Braunston locks just as 2 boats went in in front of us, so we would be on our own. But as I guess was to be expected, by the time we were ready to go, a boat turned up. Not the over crewed Hire boat one would hope for when looking for a lock companion, but a single handed boater! Oh well, if nothing else, we would have some “Lock padding” in the wide locks to stop us bouncing around.

In fact, the guy on the boat was pretty efficient, and def made the journey up easier. Fortunately, he also had pretty much the same opinions on all that is wrong with the world, so we were able to have a mutual moan as we went up – perfect!

At the top, we said our goodbyes and set off through the tunnel, and round Norton Junction – Buckby locks still closed, so free run to Watford, where there were only 2 boats waiting. The boat in front was going to Crick as a show boat. They had bought it 2 months ago and been asked by the company they bought it off if they could show it at Crick. Luckily it had not been out much since then, so still looked pretty unscratched! Made me think that maybe we should offer to show Blue Rover to show what a real boat looks like after being lived on by 2 people and a dog for 2 weeks. #notsoshiny, #doghairincluded.

Suspect the above picture may be different now! 

Whilst waiting, the news came through that the locks were open (for narrowbeams at least- one of the gates still won’t open!). The tsunami of boats up Watford was soon to follow.
Talking to the lock keeper having got our name on “the list”, plan was 4 boats coming down, then -wait for it- a CRT workboat doing some scheduled maintenance – we must remember that this scheduled maintenance prevents situations like the Buckby closure! – let’s think about that:

  1. The scheduled maintenance was – repainting Cill markers
  2. Buckby locks had closed because some idiot – yes an idiot even under the new rules- had been making a cup of tea in the lock whilst his boat lifted the gate off its hinges!

Struggle to see the connection myself

Through skillful negotiation by the lock keeper they decided to do their scheduled maintenance by carrying the paint can through the locks (rather than bringing  it down in a boat) hence removing the need to close the locks whilst they did it. It did still take 2 of them to do the job – one to carry the can, and one to paint the word Cill – and paint a nice block border round the marker. As they say – “You can take the CRT out of British Wateways but you can’t take BW out of the CRT!”)

Anyway – 2 hours later (not a bad wait for Watford) we were on our way.

By the way, the domestic had been about whether or not to go through a lock – fact is it would have made no difference – See Middlewich idiocy day 2 – so I left them to it. They were still talking to each other when we passed them later so obviously the issue was resolved!

On the way up the locks I saw a wonderful bit of Graffiti – on one of the Cill makers someone had added RIP (Cill) a – obviously a very big fan!

Past Watford, we cruised on past Crick – Enjoying the cruise so much, we didn’t want it to end – and on to Yelvertoft, though finding a pace to moor was a little tricky as every piece of Armco had a boat on it, many of which looked like they hadn’t moved in a while! The joys of southern boating – makes me hanker for those empty Northern canals!

Another post without using the phase “It turns out” – whilst still managing to get it in under the wire – Genius!


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