The four men on Wagtail were very much into learning, and had lots of questions all the way up. The four women were very much into Prosecco...
Then came Braunston Tunnel. Wagtail was rather anxious about this - and not without reason - and their fears were realized half-way through. The skipper of an on-coming NB Huffler chose to switch off his tunnel light as he was passing us. To avoid dazzling us, he said. Unfortunately, however, the man at Magpie's tiller had already been dazzled, and now had no way of knowing where the unlit boat was. They crashed rather noisily.
With Mike taking the tiller again, we carried on to Norton Junction, where he executed a perfect turn. We learned later that 70-foot Wagtail got themselves jammed across between the banks.
We joined a crew of three at the bottom of Watford Locks, with NB Bothar ahead and Wagtail coming in behind not long afterwards. The female crew were now totally blotto, and hadn't even noticed the collision in the tunnel. The 90-minute wait gave us plenty of time to have lunch, then Bothar led us up the locks. The last boat down before we went up was NB Brutus Maximus, with whom we went down into Liverpool last year. Enthusiastic shouts and waves were duly exchanged!
Again, our locking crew of three was able to assist Bothar and Wagtail in a smooth, sociable and fun ascent. The weather was warm, bright and beautiful.
Then Crick Tunnel and Yelvertoft Marina with miles of sunlit canal between. Beautiful.
118 miles and 94 locks, and a great trip!
Christine and Mike treated us to a lovely meal at The Wheatsheaf in Crick, and we played a final evening of cards. They left before 10:00 the next morning, with a long trip to Torquay ahead of them. We had a lot of washing and tidying to do!