Friday, 4 May 2007

Al Fresco.

10 Locks 3 miles, now moored near bridge 52.
Total of 256 locks and 2961/2 miles and 13 Tunnels since 5th Nov 2006

A couple of cheeky ducks followed us up through the lock flight and
got on the boat with Dot while we were filling up with water, hence the hose.

The second ascent of the Foxton flight was a slow affair today as we were 3rd in the queue and had to wait for a descending boat. The 2 boats ahead of us were both single handed and the guy immediately in front was on his first trip up the flight. The lock keeper helped the first boat through but the other guy was told just to follow them up. Once we got into the first lock I was able to help him which speeded the process up a bit.
Once we reached the summit we stopped to top up the water tank and then we were away. Along the way we spotted several clutches of moorhen chicks but they are very elusive when you try to photograph them.
At one point we slowed down because we came across a pair of swans with 6 cygnets and we were unsure if they were the pair from the Foxton flight because we were a least 2 miles from their nest site. At the same time we saw about 8 Canadian geese but only 1 pair had 6 goslings.
Just at this point a boat approached us which we recognized as Maffi on “Milly M”. The last we had heard, he was on the Northampton Arm so he was the last person we expected to see. We both did a rather hurried turn for the bank and moored up to have a chat and some lunch. The weather at this point was overcast but warm but the cloud rapidly disappeared leaving us sitting in the blazing sunshine and getting hotter by the minute. We even got to use the directors’ chairs we bought a couple of weeks ago. After about 2 hours of chatter and idle gossip Maffi headed off for the flight and we decided to stay put for the rest of the day and do some work.
I have now undercoated the barge pole, hook pole and plank and while I was doing this Dot took the opportunity to polish the brass plank and pole rack.
While waiting for the paint to dry which wasn’t long in the heat I tried my luck with the fishing rod. Being smart I tried the fish close to the boat theory again and bingo the first fish out was a nice sized Bream. After this it was all down hill but I did catch another Ruffe which was bigger than the first one I caught. Its body was very rough and its dorsal fin extremely sharp. I also had a job unhooking it because its mouth was very strong and hard, very different to Perch.
As our chairs and table were still out on the towpath and the weather was still warm we had our evening meal outside, another first. Just like the good old days with the caravan club in NZ. Eat your heart out guys.

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