Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Speeding back to Yelvertoft

We decided that the best thing to do now, in view of our problems, was to leave early and finish the journey back to the marina in one day. So we set out at 9:00 - another very sunny, hot day already, but with a pleasant, refreshing breeze - and enjoyed a fast pace down the broad Oxford Canal towards Braunston and the Grand Union.

Arriving at the bottom of Braunston Locks, we found it empty and ready for us, and we were joined in the lock by another couple in their boat. With two of us now manning the locks, and every one of the flight of six being in our favour, we made very good time, and headed off to the Tunnel.

Grace isn't keen on Braunston Tunnel. It's very long - 2042 yards - and has a bend and other restrictions in it. All would have been well had it not been for a pair of very short boats travelling close together who met us on the bend, but made no allowance for the fact that Kantara, coming out of the bend with her 60' length sticking out towards the opposite wall, couldn't avoid them - they had to avoid her. There was a collision. No-one hurt, and, we think, no damage done. None to Kantara, certainly, but the boat we hit was a fibreglass cruiser, so we did have visions of it cracking and sinking!

Emerging from the tunnel, we sped (well, in canal terms) towards Norton Junction, left onto the Leicester Arm of the GU,and then to Watford Locks. We had a short wait here, just enough to eat a quickly-made sandwich, and then ascended in good time.

Crick Tunnel (only 1528 yards) had no boats coming towards us, and we were through in record time. We finally berthed in the marina at 3:00pm, hot (burned), tired, and still with food in a defunct fridge. Almost the first thing we did was turn our attention to that. 

Thankfully, we did establish that the fridge was not faulty. I connected it direct to the battery bank, and it ran fine. The 12v fuses were all intact, but it was clear that the wall switch into which the fridge was wired was itself faulty, or some other part of the wiring was.

I put out email SOS messages to Colin and Simon about the fridge, and another to Sam about the generator, then we collapsed and cooled down.

It has been an excellent cruise!
165 miles
115 locks
6 counties

  •     Northamptonshire
  •     Leicestershire
  •     Nottinghamshire
  •     Staffordshire
  •     Warwickshire
  •     West Midlands
in 38 days
And we gained the IW Helmsman's Certificate, too. We had a really good time. Now we have to... well, let's say we have a to-do list that looks awesome! (Adjective - Causing awe or terror; inspiring wonder or excitement) and more cruises to plan!

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