Sunday, 27 January 2008

Oh That Tunnel.

6 locks, 4 miles and 1 Tunnel. Now moored at Braunston

'Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day' so the song goes. It was windy and a bit chilly but it was dry. First up was to reverse back to the water point and luckily the wind was directly on the bow so not too much hassle there.

As we entered the Braunston tunnel I could see a headlight way down the other end but when we finally met there was in fact 3 boats in convoy but we passed each other without mishap. The problem arose as we exited the tunnel. The slip that has been hindering the tunnel mouth for months has in my opinion got worse. All the trees and vegetation have been cleared from the hillside but the soil etc; is still sliding further across the canal.


Compare this photo with one taken by Les on N/b Valerie 2 weeks ago shown here

The reason I say this is because we had to go hard over to the left to miss the slip but as another boat was approaching the tunnel I tried to move to starboard to let him pass only to run aground. The skipper of the other boat did nothing to help and just kept going. I could do nothing at this point and as he passed us our stern was sucked around by his wake and came into contact with his boat, what did he do? NOTHING, just kept going. Why are some boaters so inconsiderate and expect everyone to get out of their way? There was another boat approaching the tunnel but she could see that there was a problem and held back until I managed to slide off the mud bank into deeper water and clear the slip area. In my opinion if the slip is not dealt with ASAP the tunnel entrance will silt up and become totally impassable, time will tell.

On the way down the Braunston flight we were just about ready to leave the top lock with the second lock already set in our favour when a male figure came along and shut the gate and start draining the lock. He noticed us exciting the lock and then quickly reset the lock for us. It turned out the this person was non other than Les on N/b Valerie trying to make a speedy trip up through the locks with his travelling companions Andy and Tina on N/b Ynete. They had the boats roped together and Andy was driving both of them with Les going ahead setting the locks.

Upon arrival in Braunston we found a mooring by the marina. After lunch we walked up into the village to make the obligatory visit the butchers shop for various pickles and some veges. We walked back via the Braunston chandlery and picked up the electrical fittings I need to finish fitting the LED's and a new reading light for Dot.

890 locks, 1200 ½ miles, 35 Tunnels, 40 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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