Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Back to Braunston

We weren't completely idle yesterday, though we didn't actually leave the boat all day, so wet it was. Sheila did her online tax return and I took a look at some more rust, this time in the storage area between the starboard swim and the engine bay. A good wire brushing revealed that it wasn't too severe, there being no pitting, just surface rust running under the Danboline bilge paint, but also that it was impractical to try and do the complete job whilst cruising.

Parts of the space are inaccessible without removing the hexagrip decking from above it, so I got as much of the loose stuff off as I could reach and gave it all a good coat of Rust Konverter. That should hold it until we get up to Braidbar in August when the guys there can do the proper job with primer and undercoat.

Not surprisingly, having had little exercise, it wasn't a brilliant night and we were awake quite early. So we put this fact to good use, getting going promptly, moving onto the water point and breakfasting whilst letting the hose dribble into the tank (it's not very good pressure at Hillmorton). By twenty past eight the tank was three quarters full and we decided to get on.

It was my turn to lock and we had a good run with all the preferred, right hand, towpath side locks with us. I gritted my teeth working the middle lock, trying not to think about the officially sanctioned graffiti that besmirches both sides of the top gate balance beams. It's ironic – there is so much that is truly poetic about the cut, the lapping of the water on the hull, the antics of the water fowl, the rippling pattern of light and shade on the cabin ceiling when the sun is shining on the water outside.

But all the official poetaster could come up with is banal gibberish such as "THIS DOOR MAKES DEPTH". I ask you...

No matter, on we went in slowly deteriorating conditions. I got the washing machine on the go then alternated between bow lookout, baker of part baked petit pains for lunch and coffee supplier to the steerer.

We got to Braunston just a bit after eleven with the wind becoming more and more of a problem. We've found a good mooring after Bridge 89, our favourite length as you can walk up the fields to the village, an easier approach than slogging up the hill from Butchers Bridge to Nibbits Lane. Better, as last time and this, to walk back that way so as to have a snoop along the GU towpath and see who's about.

Not many at the moment. We went shopping after lunch as an alternative to dozing off and the butcher was commenting on how quiet it was just now. It will get busier next weekend and the following week, of course. We've started playing the game of spotting the show boats on their way to Crick, but haven't seen any definites yet.

We'll sit tight here for the next few days, unless we need to move to get more water. I'll try and do at least a quick blog every day as there'll then be a bit of a gap once we're actually at Crick and working.


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