Friday, July 13, 2012

Back at Yelvertoft

On Wednesday morning, before I was awake, Grace had the rare pleasure of seeing a family of four jays, sitting in nearby trees. I've only ever once seen two jays together, and I've probably not seen more than ten in my life. I was sorry Grace didn't wake me.
Wednesday and Thursday were days of simple, enjoyable cruising, and largely in good weather, with the worst rain coming after we moored for the night. Two of the six double-width locks of the Braunston Flight we shared with another boat, making the whole job a bit easier. After that, we ascended solo.
Braunston Flight - The Admiral Nelson pub
I spoke with another boat-owner who had also set out, with her husband, to cruise the Leicester Ring, but going the other way around from us. After I had explained that we were aborting progress because of the flooding of the Trent affecting the Trent & Mersey Canal, she told me that she had had to turn around in Leicester, where the River Soar was flooding and causing problems. She and her husband had tried the Ring last year, and failed because of low water levels. This year they've had to give up because of too much water!
Napton Junction
After the locks came the 2042 yard long Braunston Tunnel, a left turn at Napton Junction and an overnight mooring at a peaceful spot a couple of miles further on. As often, we moored just in time, before the rain came down with a vengeance.
Staircase locks at Watford
We started off late on Thursday morning, with few miles to do before arriving at Yelvertoft. The weather was really good, and we saw few other boats moving on the canal. It was all very peaceful. Watford Locks delayed us for perhaps an hour, but we were in no hurry. Some poor folk's boat broke down in the top of the staircase, and had to be taken back up by hand before we could ascend. One of the lock keepers there, hearing that we were on our way back to Yelvertoft Marina, told us that he had heard many very good reports of the marina. We are certain it's the best we could have found in this area.
Moorers' Lounge at Yelvertoft Marina
Four more warm, sunny miles, and we were back... Grace said "back home", but then we laughed, realising that we'd been "home" all of the time. It's a really good way to live! Grace slid Kantara effortlessly into her mooring, and we tied her up. 82 miles and 34 locks.

We ate at The George, which has become our regular pub restaurant now, with excellent food served by friendly, cheerful staff. Later that evening, we had the heaviest rain we had experienced in the past two weeks.

This morning, we awoke to a schedule of jobs to be done - mostly cleaning, and washing clothes, now that we had mains electricity again. Sam came to look at the faulty generator, wiggled a few things and made it work again. To be fair, he did say he had no idea what he'd done to put it right, so we'll have to use it daily, and see if it keeps going.

Tomorrow, we go back to St Albans, to get a few things sorted out there.

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