Sunday, June 08, 2014

Stoke Bruerne and beyond

Friday morning was sunny and bright. Jess spent an hour or so at the Stoke Bruerne Museum, feeding her interest in things historical, and looking for inspiration for a song. It seems that the museum has improved enormously since its refurbishment. We'll have to visit it again some time.


Grace baked another banana cake!

After an early lunch, we moved on. In Blisworth Tunnel - which was a very wet experience! - we saw two of the mysterious tunnels in the east wall, the apparent sighting point of the tunnel's ghosts. We stopped for bread and milk at Blisworth village beyond the tunnel, then again for services at Gayton Junction.

Warehouse/apartment conversion at Blisworth
It was a lovely day for cruising again, and the scenery was beautiful. We stopped for the night at a good, open spot opposite a farm camping site.




Heavy rain was forecast for Saturday, and at first light there was the first of it, for about thirty seconds, complete with thunder. Then it stopped... Until 9:30 when we started on our way! We spent the first 45 minutes crawling along behind a hire boat with a very grumpy crew, who eventually pulled over rather grudgingly to let us pass.

We arrived at Buckby Bottom Lock to find that it took over ten minutes to empty to let Kantara in; the top gate was overflowing faster than the bottom paddles were letting out. By the time I had opened the bottom gates, we had been joined by another boat - but fortunately not the grumpy guy one! NB South Downs shared the locks with us up the whole flight of seven. With four of us locking, we did it in very good time. What's more, the rain stopped, the sun came out, and we started to steam dry.



We left South Downs filling with water at the top lock, and moved on, turning into the Leicester Section at Norton Junction, and mooring up a few hundred yards up to have lunch.

It was still bright and sunny when we'd eaten, so we carried on to Watford Locks. There was no delay, Jess helped with the locking, and the hire boat with the drunken crew ahead of us was being assisted by a lockie, so our ascent was smooth.



We arrived back at the marina at 6:00pm, the end of a fun week with Jess, and of a good, three and a half week cruise, 149 miles and 160 locks. Sunday morning, we took Jess back home, and we'll be in St Albans for a couple of days.

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