Sunday, 30 September 2007

Change of scenery.

9 locks, and 9.5 miles. Now moored at Stonebridge lock on the River Lea.

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We had given Islington a good going over so it was time to move on to pastures green. We had planned on mooring up at Victoria Park by Old Ford lock but the place was full with the usual go nowhere live aboard's. Frustrating when they are supposed to be 14 day visitor moorings. How ever we watered up IN the lock as the tap is in the adjacent facilities wash room.

As we were forced to move on to find alternate moorings we wasted no time going up the river Lee trying to dodge the islands of floating rotting stinking vegetation. What with the weed and the rubbish the first few miles were not very impressive.

At Tottenham lock we spoke to a gentleman about moorings and he told us to moor above Stonebridge lock where we are now. There are live aboard's on the opposite bank and we found out that there is also a park which has a regular mobile security patrol which is a guard dog and its handler. It is very pleasant and quiet but as we don't need shops or anything else it suit's us fine.

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The state of the river is improving but there is a lot of water weed being washed down stream which is accumulating in front of the lock gates making a very large island. The weed is actually stopping the lock gates closing properly even though they are electrically operated. I dread to think what we will find upon our return as there are less and less boat movements each day as we get closer to winter.

709 locks, 1000.5 miles, 29 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Friday, 28 September 2007

Canal Museum

4 locks, 2 tunnels and 4.5 miles. Now moored at Islington in London.

As we were too late to visit the London Canal Museum on Monday we walked back over the Islington tunnel on Wednesday morning. I suppose we would have followed what would have vaguely been the route used by the boatman to take their horses over the tunnel to the other end while the barges were legged or towed by tug through the tunnel.

London Canal Museum

The museum is great especially the 20 minute video of a trip from Limehouse basin up the Regents canal. It was in 2 parts with the first being old black and white silent footage from the early 1900's with piano accompaniment and subtitles and the 2nd from a modern 1999 perspective.

One fact that amazed me was that in Victorian London there were over 300,000 horses in London keeping the wheels of commerce moving. That would have required a lot of stables and a mountain of hay, chaff and oats to keep that lot fed. The ice trade that was carried out in the museum building from 1863 was amazing in that the ice was imported from Norway. It was stored in wells that were 34ft across and 42ft deep with a sandy bottom to drain away the melted ice.The size of the ice blocks (approx; 3ft x 2ft x 1ft) required workmen to use special tongs to move these heavy and slippery critters.

City Road Basin - empty apart from a few canoes

This afternoon we went for a walk along the towpath towards Limehouse basin. Passing City Road Basin one can't help but wonder that it couldn't be used as winter moorings for boats due to the extremely limited mooring around London.

Along the way are signs saying pedestrians have precedence over cyclists, the latter being requested to dismount in places and be courteous. Well some of the cyclists we encountered were far from courteous riding at break neck speeds along the way. As we walked through one tunnel a cyclist came from the other direction without slowing down or dismounting. Luckily he was on the waters edge and how he got past us without falling in the cut I have no idea. I quite expected to hear a splash and was disappointed when I didn't.

Yeah right -perhaps they can't read!

700 locks, 901 miles, 29 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Happy Birthday Barry


Wow - 12 years old today.  Sorry we cant be with you.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Happy Birthday Dad


89 not out


Mary and I are sorry we cant be with you but wish you a wonderful birthday today

Fire, fire.

Still moored at Little Venice.

Friday was a quiet time aboard Gypsy Rover as Mary and Tony took themselves off to the Southampton Boat show. Being yachters they were very keen to see what was on the market over here. They came home with  a new mattress underlay to keep the underside of the mattress dry and aired (don't know how they will get that in their suitcase) and a whole load of brochures. Tracey and Dot went on a shopping trip and it was back down the engine hole for me to get some more painting done.

Well, Saturday started off well planned with Tracey going back to Wimbledon to meet a friend and watch rugby on the big screen at the Walkabout. Mary, Tony and Dot were going to Queensway to the laundrette but upon arrival at the laundrette they found the fire brigade in attendance hauling burning clothing out of the shop onto the footpath outside. Seems a drier got a bit too hot, "How would you like your washing madam, medium dry or well done?"


Fireman at work

Luckily there was another laundrette close by so they did got their washing done after all and it was a much nicer laundrette as well. Me, well two guess's as to where I was and what I was doing.

Sunday and Mary and Tony are off to do a flight on the London Eye, visit St Paul's cathedral, Tower bridge and the Tower of London, that should keep them busy for the day. Dot is having a quiet read while I'm finishing what I started 2 days ago. Its not easy trying to manoeuvre myself around in such a confined space and try and paint in all the little nooks and crannies but it's got to be done.

692 locks, 893 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Friday, 21 September 2007

It Busted

Now moored at Little Venice.

Today Tony and Mary took off to Hampton Court for the day. After they left we cast off for Little Venice which wasn't an easy task as there was a very strong wind blowing down through the basin. As I tried to reverse out of our berth I had to get Dot and Tracey to hold onto the bow rope to stop the bow from wiping out the Tupperware boat moored on the next pontoon. Even they needed the assistance of a passing gentleman to restrain the bow. Once safely clear of the other boat Dot and Tracey boarded at the bow but my problems had only just begun. I had the stern heading in the right direction but the bow caught a sheer wind off the side of the building which started to push me sideways towards the next pontoon. A couple of high revving manoeuvres backwards and forwards and I managed to clear the other pontoon with just a light touch of the bow on the wood work on the end of the pontoon. Another couple of quick manoeuvres and I managed to get the bow heading into wind and finally got the boat under control.

Unusual vehicle for cleaning up Paddington Basin

We moved down to the Little Venice service centre where we refilled the water tank, a slow process as the water pressure here is poor and did a pump out. Well we started to do a pump out and got as far as pausing the pump for a flush out but then the pump stopped pumping even though we could hear it working. Just then a restaurant trip boat moored up behind us and the skipper knew exactly what the problem was and rang BW. Fifteen minutes later the BW man arrived to fix the pump. It turns out that the pump needs replacing but in the meantime they keep persevering with it, repairing it on average about twice a week. There is a sheer pin between the motor and the pump which snaps when too much pressure is applied. It only took 10 minutes to fix before we could finish our ablutions and be on our way.

The trip boat skipper also told us that the wind in the basin can be so bad that they cannot get past the bend leading up to St Mary's hospital even with a 90hp motor and a bow thruster. After hearing this I thought I done very well under the circumstances.

As there were no moorings available at Little Venice I found a friendly couple, Alan and Judy on n/b Lavinia Mary who were quite happy for us to breast up with them which is where we are now . Of course Dot had to go and meet Tony and Mary upon their return to Paddington to guide them to our new location.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

We Love London

Still moored at Paddington Basin.

london2 004

Wire Sculptures seen in St James Park.

Today we walked our feet off starting at Westminster underground station and Parliament buildings and Big Ben. From there it was down to horse guards parade and through to St James Park. We had a look at the Inn the Park restaurant/take away bar but the menu (price) was too rich for us so we carried on to the other side of the park where we found a more reasonably priced takeaway stall.

We arrived at Buckingham Palace only to find that Liz wasn't home as usual. After inspecting the guard we walked down the Mall where we came across Clarence House, the former home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. On down through Trafalgar Square where we rested our feet by the fountain for a while.

Next stop was the Embankment where Mary and Tony checked up on times and prices for the ferry to Hampton Court. We spent quite a while looking at the Battle of Britain memorial which is a three dimensional work of art.

b of b

Battle of Britain Memorial

I must say that the new memorial to the women of World War 2 was also brilliant with it's 3D sculptures of the uniforms worn by women in various job rolls that they took on while the men were away fighting overseas.

We eventually arrived back at Westminster station to catch the train back to Paddington. It was good to get back aboard the boat for a brew and put our feet up for a while. Not long after Tracey joined us for a few days to see her Aunt and Uncle that she hasn't seen for quite a while.

692 locks, 893 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Just tourists.

Still moored at Paddington Basin.

Yesterday we just had a quiet day on the boat enjoying the relative peace and quiet of this inner city haven. Later in the day we took a walk out towards Notting Hill to burn off a few excess calories.

In the afternoon we finally got a text message to say that Mary, Dot's sister and her husband Tony had landed at Heathrow. A short time later a text arrived with train arrival details so off we went to Paddington station to meet the weary travellers who had just flown in from Hong Kong (13 hour flight).

This morning we walked down to Little Venice to check out the pump out and rubbish facilities. Just as well we didn't take the boat as the toilet and pump out facilities  were out of action under going a major pipe refit. They should be back up and running tomorrow.

We then visited Paddington station to get some travel info for Mary and Tony for their trip to Ireland.

692 locks, 893 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Sunday, 16 September 2007


Still moored at Paddington Basin.

This morning was a leisurely start to the day. First chore was to check the batteries, refill the stern greaser and make a start on cleaning up in the engine hole ready to repaint.

Late morning and we went for a walk up Edgeware road to Maida Vale road where the tunnel goes over the Regents canal on its way to Camden and Islington.  Then walking down memory lane and spotting an apartment we rented in Sussex Gardens on our honeymoon many years ago before heading for Hyde Park and a picnic in the sun.

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Gypsy Rover moored in Paddington Basin with St Mary's hospital in the background

Map showing our location in Paddington Basin, in London

692 locks, 893 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Saturday, 15 September 2007

We are in London

0 Locks, 13.5 Miles. Now moored at Paddington Basin.

Paddington Basin in London

After watering up at Bulls bridge it was off down the Paddington Arm. At times it was hard to comprehend that we were so close to London as we passed through some quite rural areas. On the other hand some places were so defaced with graffiti it was quite obvious that we were in suburbia.

Again we were surprised by the lack of moored boats except in the designated long term mooring areas. Even Willow Tree marina was small compared to marina's up North. On arrival at Little Venice there were no available moorings so we pulled onto the water point to talk to Mike and Denise over what we could do. We had no sooner stopped when an employee from the London Waterbus co told us we couldn't stop there. He did his utmost to put us off staying in the London area and told us that there were no moorings available anywhere,but we pushed on into the Paddington Basin where we found only 5 boats in residence, surprise, surprise. We picked our moorings and within an hour 5 other boats arrived filling all remaining berths. The basin is lovely but due to building construction the moorings beyond the Helix bridge are unavailable until further notice. This bridge and the fold up bridge outside the M&S building seem to me to be an extravagant luxury as they only reduce pedestrians journey but a very short distance saving them mere minutes in travelling time. I hope the developers paid for the bridges and not BW.

Large mural approaching Little Venice was made from litter by Stowe Youth club.

692 locks, 893 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Friday, 14 September 2007

What sort of example is this?

4 Locks, 8 Miles. Now moored at Bulls Bridge,Hayes.

We got away at 9am as usual in fine weather when 2 north bound boats conveniently set the lock for us. Due to the presence of lots of moored boats progress was slow. Along the way we noted new canal side apartment blocks going up on an old factory site which had been demolished and left abandoned for some years. From memory they were in the vicinity of Cowley and perhaps the old car factory? If anybody can enlighten us we would like to hear from them.

The long stretch from Cowley lock to Bulls bridge was a surprise in that even though it is predominately industrial there was not one moored boat, even unlicensed boats. We managed to get moorings outside Tesco's just north of the dry dock along the curved wall.

Now I know Tesco's don't have a good reputation regarding their trolleys but the dry dock has a sign stating Tesco's involvement in refurbishing the dry dock as example of a canal side dry dock. Full marks to Tesco's on that score BUT it is so full of rubbish that its an eyesore rather an example. Surely they could attempt to keep it clean and tidy.

Tonight I filled 2 rubbish sacks with rubbish from along the wharf landing which would have come from fishermen and some lazy boaters. This was deposited alongside a rubbish bin up in the supermarket car park which hopefully will be removed. Its not that difficult to be tidy and place rubbish in the appropriate receptacles.

paddington arm

Bulls Bridge junction with the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

692 locks, 879.5 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Old acquaintances

8 Locks, 6.5 Miles. Now moored at Harefield.
Last night when we moored up we saw a boat come up through the lock, watered up and then moored just below us. It wasn't until this morning when we moved down to the watering point and literarelly bumped into this other boat that we found that it was Hugh and Jane Muller (from Havelock North, New Zealand) on Narrowboat Poetry who we have crossed path's with before. They had been down on the Thames and had done the Limehouse basin to Brentford run and were now heading to Braunston. They only have a month left before they have to leave the country. The boat will be up for sale at Braunston Marina for any potential boat buyers.

We had a pleasant run down to Harefield today but there were a few more boats out and about making the most of the fine weather.

688 locks, 871.5 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Old haunts revisited.

13 Locks, 7 Miles. Now moored at lock 78 Croxley Green.
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Locking with Narrowboat Densie today

 We moved down through lock 67 to await the arrival of the postman at Apsley marina where we were expecting the return of our stern and cratch covers. By 9.45 we had our parcel safely stowed aboard and we were away on the next leg of our journey. Going through Kings Langley we saw the finished products of the conversion of the old Ovaltine factory into apartments and housing estate. Next time we are in the area we will have to have a look at the front of the building which is the old factory facade.

It was a lovely day for cruising and we made good time. We moored up for lunch between bridges 164 and 165 in what used to be the Duke of Clarendons' estate. The first bridge (164) was built to appease the duke to get permission to build the canal across his land.

It was great to pass through some of my old fishing haunts  from my child hood, Lady Capels wharf, Grove Mill, and Cassiobury Park. Not much has changed in these area's.

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Sign at lock 76 in Cassiobury Park

Tonight we watched a TV programme on ITV called Water World and narrated by  actor Timothy West who I believe is narrow boat owner. There was a marked point made during the programme about using the canals again for what they were designed for, moving freight. Overall I thought the programme was well made and presented.

680 locks, 865miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Hop, skip and a jump

7 Locks, 3 Miles, 1 swing bridge. Now moored at Hemel Hempstead

Forecast was correct this morning, light rain which didn't stop the two boats moving down to Boxmoor lock.  The four of us wandered into Hemel Hempstead, we picked up our monthly prescriptions that the doctor had sent through to Boots the chemist.  Back to the boat for lunch before moving down to Apsley, watering up and moored below the lock.  Hopefully our parcel will be at the marina in the morning and then we can continue south towards London.

667 locks, 858 miles, 25 Tunnels, 39 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Monday, 10 September 2007

Goodness gracious.

14 Locks, 7 Miles. Now moored at Bourne End


British Waterways vehicle. Now more of these would be great, only one we have seen.

It was a wee bit foggy this morning when we set off but the sun eventually burnt through to give us another hot muggy day. We were again travelling with Mike and Denise which made life a lot easier.

It was a surprise when we spotted Narrowboat Hertford (along way from home, seen here at Cowroast lock) which was last seen moored at College cruisers on the Oxford canal after being salvaged from the river Thames at Folly bridge. The guys at college cruisers must have worked long and hard to refurbish the boat and get it back into shape to hire out again. The hirer said he had no complaints with the boat so they must have done a good job in a very short space of time.


Risen from the depths, very fast repair job, looks ok too.

We stopped off at Berkhamsted for lunch and nipped over to Waitrose to do a quick shop before doing the short run to our present mooring.


Spot the rabbit!

660 locks, 855 miles, 25 Tunnels, 38 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Fisherman and Carp

16 Locks, 6 Miles and 1 swing bridge. Now moored at Bulbourne Bridge No 133


We set off this morning under warm but overcast skies. At the first lock there were 2 fisherman fishing at the locking bollards, as we got alongside them Dot told them in no uncertain terms that fishing was not allowed there. Believe it or not but they moved so that we could use the bollards.

The first 3 locks we did solo but then Mike and Denise aboard Narrowboat Densie caught us up and we paired up for the rest of the day. It certainly made life a lot easier with 2 boats in the double locks. As we passed through Marsworth junction with the Aylesbury Arm a fisherman was just weighing a carp that he had caught which we saw as he returned it to the canal. About a 10 pounder from what I could hear at a distance.

When we moored up for the day Denise invited us back to their boat for a coffee which we gladly accepted. I had a feeling that we had crossed path's with these guys before and sure enough over coffee it turned out that they were about 2 days behind us on the K & A so we had seen them previously.

I feel I should comment on their boat which is an Aqualine  'Manhattan'. These are the boats made in Poland and the workmanship, especially the wood work was absolutely beautiful. The whole finish was very pleasing to the eye, even the electrical cupboard would be an example to every boat builder on the cut. Our electrical cupboard is spaghetti junction compared to the Aqualine. The only complaint Mike had was that it was hard to check the batteries, they really needed a hatch above them.

This evening I was on the stern deck as usual for a bit of fishing and the carp were all over the place, even within a few feet of the boat feeding on what ever was floating on the surface. There were a couple the would have been 20 pounder's but none of them could be tempted to  take my bait. Its the old story, you can never catch what you can see.

Total of 646 locks, 848 miles, 25 Tunnels, 38 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Late Start Again

2 Locks, 4 Miles. Now moored at Slapton

This morning we contacted Tim Garland of Garland Hoods to arrange to get a couple of repairs and modifications done to the cratch  and stern covers. As he was unable to see us until lunch time I started to do a bit more painting just to keep the boat up to scratch.

Once Tim had been and taken away the covers for repair we set off rather late in the afternoon but we were only planning on a short trip just to put some mileage behind us. The boat feels naked without the covers on but it will only be for a couple of days. Except for a couple of boats heading north we had the canal to ourselves again which is the time that we tend to see more wild life. Today was no exception with the sighting of a female Muntjac deer which we have not seen for some time.

Total of 630 locks, 852 miles, 25 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Friday, 7 September 2007

Happy Birthday Richard



Even sons grow older, we wont say how old though

Leighton Buzzard and Environs


Leighton Buzzard Market Square


The Globe

Surprise! Surprise

6 Locks, 6 Miles. Now moored at Leighton Buzzard.

First thing this morning I was having a doze while Dot was busying herself for the day when I was abruptly awoken by Dot conversing with the crew of a passing boat. It was Narrowboat Helen Louise with John and Elizabeth Bolton from Blenheim, New Zealand aboard. John had contacted me back in NZ for information about narrow boats as he was looking into buying a boat. He forwarded some pictures of boats he was interested in and his son in the UK was going to have a look at them. I must say that the boat he bought looks very nice. Well,after about a half hour John and Elizabeth had to push on as they had a fair way to travel so we did a quick photo shoot and said farewell. Next time hopefully we can spend more time together catching up.

John and Elizabeth Bolton on N/b Helen Louise

While Dot had good Internet reception this morning she did a few jobs on the computer that had been needing attention. In the meantime I made the most of the delayed start with some window cleaning and a spot of fishing. Talk about luck of the devil, first cast and I hooked this large Bream. Now my landing net is 17 inches across and this fella would have been a good 16 inches in length, shame I don't have any scales to weigh my catch with. Perhaps I should write to Santa as it's getting towards that time of year again.

Derek's catch of the day

As we had no travelling companions the Soulbury flight were slow going but we got there in the long run. On arrival at Leighton Buzzard we just managed to squeeze into the Tesco shopping mooring without upsetting the usual fishermen who persist on fishing in this location. They even park their cars in the Tesco car park so they don't have to walk too far. Talk about laziness! After replenishing the larder we cruised about half a mile and moored up opposite a new block of 2 bedroom apartments which were only in the final construction stage when we passed through here last February. They all appear occupied now with new scaffolding being erected just to the south ready for another block to be built.

Tonight we received an email from Keith and Dave from nb Tanzanite who we passed near Stoke Hammond lock with us heading south and them towards Fenny Stratford. Sorry we missed you and glad you enjoy our blog. Hopefully we meet up again, give us a shout earlier.

Total of 628 locks, 848 miles, 25 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Fait Accompli at last

0 Locks, 6 Miles. Now moored at Fenny Stratford Lock.

Fenny Stratford lock and the Red Lion Pub

We stayed on this morning at Great Linford so that I could finish the rest of the painting on the roof. First thing was to wash off all the sticky goo from the willow tree and when the moored boat behind us left we moved back away from the tree. Once it was all clean and dry it took just on an hour to complete the job. I originally started to paint the roof back in May but with the fickle weather I was unable to complete the job until now. Next job is the sides time and weather permitting.

After lunch we slipped our moorings and headed off with a stop at Pear Tree bridge for water and a call into Milton Keynes marina for a new gas tank. Getting in and out of this marina takes all your skills to negotiate turning and mooring in the visitor area.

I have been out picking some more blackberries but they are not as succulent as previous pickings we had around Rugby.

Total of 622 locks, 842 miles, 25 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

What no water - Oh Dear

8 Locks, 12½ Miles, 1 Tunnel. Now moored at Great Linford.
622 locks, 836 miles, 25 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

It was a chilly 7deg C this morning when we set off for the Blisworth tunnel at 7am dressed in wet weather gear as we know what this tunnel is like. It leaks like a sieve from above. All went well taking only half an hour to get through the tunnel. When we arrived at Stoke Bruerne our progress came to a sudden halt due to us finding that the top lock was empty, so empty that you could see the bottom. That was not the worst of it, the pound below the lock was also completely empty due to some prat leaving the top gates open on the second lock. After securing that lock we then set about letting water down to fill everything up again. It was too early to ring BW and we knew what was required anyway.

Empty pound below Stoke Bruerne top lock this morning.

While waiting for the pound to fill we found the diesel boat "Jubilee" moored opposite and enquired if he was open for business. His reply was that "If I am here I am open".
After about half an hour we were under way again. As we left the second lock another moored boat joined us down through the rest of the locks.The only problem we now had was that the lower pounds were over full with water flooding over the tow path causing us problems opening the top gates requiring us to waste water to get the top gates to open. While we were in the last lock 2 BW workers arrived as somebody behind us had rung them complaining about us holding them up. Apparently there were 6 boats behind us. There's no pleasing some people. Little did they know if it wasn't for us they would still be sitting at the top lock because the BW guys had come from Rugby which took the best part of an hour.

Another Kiwi boat "Tane Mahuta" ( Lord of the Forest) spotted today near Great Linford

After a longer than normal trip today we found the mooring we were hoping for at Great Linford was available which meant I could do some more painting on the starboard side. I was only able to get half the painting done due to the metal being too hot to start off with and the willow tree over the bow of the boat was weeping all over the roof making it all wet and sticky. Never mind I will finish it off before we leave here tomorrow.

Archeological site at Great Linford

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

First hint of Autumn.

0 Locks, 8½ Miles. Now moored at Bridge 50 GU.
614 locks, 823½ miles, 23 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

Sunday was spent with my cousin Pam and some of her family who drove over from Peterborough for the day. After a very nice roast dinner at the Narrow Boat Inn we went for a little cruise between the winding holes on either side of the village.

After a pleasant week-end at Weedon we set off this morning for Blisworth. As we were about to leave, we were passed by another boat with who else but Dr Bones herself on the back. Boy does she get around, "Keeping up with the Jones" she was, after quick shouted greetings we were off.

At Gayton Junction we pulled in to water up and get rid of some rubbish. There were 3 boats already on the water point so we had to wait for a wee while until they had finished their chores.

Just as we were leaving the junction Dot spotted another narrowboat (Camrose II) flying the NZ flag. We pulled alongside and spoke to Tony and Brenda from Auckland. They have been narrowboating for 6 years with regular visits back to NZ and they are also friends of Charles and Annie Scones on n/b Watergipsy. It’s a small world as we also know the Scones.

We are now moored just short of the Blisworth tunnel which we will navigate first thing in the morning the same as when we navigated the Braunston tunnel a few days ago.

Grannys View

This photo was taken from the same angle as Granny's.
To view his photo taken 12 months ago
click here

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Been there, done that.

7 Locks, 8 Miles, 1 Tunnel. Now moored at Bridge 26 GU.
614 locks, 815 miles, 23 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

We left Braunston top lock early on Thursday morning to get through the Braunston tunnel before too many other boats started to move. We succeeded by getting through the tunnel all on our lonesome, it was lovely to breath in cool clean crisp air.

Thursday night we moored at the bottom of the Buckby flight but this is a bit noisy with the railway on one side and the motorway on the other.

"Oh dear"

The Buckby flight locks were just the same as they were when we were travelling north, hard to open even though the water was cascading over the bottom gates as the water behind the top gates were still not level. I see they are on the forthcoming winter stoppages again so let’s hope something is done to rectify the problem.

Friday night was spent at the aquaduct just north of Weedon wharf. Saturday morning and we have moved down to bridge 26 for water and found a suitable mooring to be able to meet my cousin and family who are coming over from Peterborough tomorrow morning. As there will be 8 of us in total we are going to have lunch at the Narrow boat Inn just above the bridge as it could be a bit crowded on the boat.

Just been speaking to Brent (son in New Zealand) concerning my mention and photos of Narrowboat Tui Mark 3. Well how’s this for a coincidence? My son has a workmate in New Zealand whose parents live on a Narrowboat called Tui with a beer logo on the boat. Couldn’t be more than one could there? He has sent me their email address so I will email them and let you know the outcome.

Once we get to London there will be plenty to blog about as we will try and cover the whole London ring including the rivers Lee and Stort before heading north again straight after christmas to avoid the planned stoppages.