Saturday, 20 May 2017

Pressing on to Norton Junction

It's been another day that went pretty well to plan. We got going in very good time and were on the Stop House water point before eight. Whilst the tank was filling we had time to eat breakfast and drink a cup of coffee/hot chocolate. Then it was on to the foot of the locks. Union Canal Carriers were busy shuffling boats all over the place (situation normal) but there was still room, just about, for us to tie on the lock landing, so called.

Actually, this meant tying the stern line to a ring and us taking it in turns to hold the centreline, there being no other bollard or ring available. After about 15 minutes, a shortish boat called Phoenix turned up and shared up the locks with us. It was my turn to boat and Sheila's to lock – she had a fairly easy time of it with most of the locks with us. We crossed with a couple of boats coming down into the bargain.

Similarly, we crossed with a couple of boats in the tunnel, neither in the dog leg, fortunately. The first was no problem, but the second had a stupid great tunnel light, pointing directly forward, so that by the time I reached him, I was too dazzled see Sanity Again's bow and we brushed past each other with a bit of a bump. Please, folks, it's not a motorway in there, you only need enough illumination to see the sides of the tunnel maybe twenty feet ahead of the boat.

We've come through the junction and tied on the moorings just a bit up the Leicester Section. This afternoon, we took a walk along to Weltonfield to check what time they open in the morning (10 o'clock) and to collect some more kindling.

Back at the boat, we decided to take our windlasses down the Buckby flight and see if we could see the Braidbar showboat, Mei Long, coming up. Instead, we found that they'd already arrived here and were tied a couple of boats behind us. We've had a very pleasant afternoon drinking coffee with Tony and Margaret and looking through their beautiful boat. It's always a relief to find that you really like the boat you're going to be showing people through!

Tomorrow, we'll go into Weltonfield to get a pump out and fill the diesel tank before carrying on up the Watford flight to tie between Bridges 7 and 8.

Location:Norton Junction

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