Sunday, 13 April 2008

Busy, busy, busy.

10 ½ miles and 23 locks, Now moored near Bridge 108 Grand Union Canal

Other than being woken at 3am by a couple of drunk's our stay at Leamington Spa passed quietly enough.

This morning we had only planned to do about 5 locks to put ourselves in a good position to attack the Stockton flight tomorrow or Monday. Things changed initially when we got a phone call from our friends on N/b Kalimera who are at present moored at Brownsover in Rugby and secondly when we met up with N/b Dawn, which was originally the motor vessel of the hotel narrowboat pair, Dawn and Dusk. We had done a couple of locks solo when we caught up with Dawn who locked through with us to the pub at bridge 25 where they planned to stop for lunch. As we approached lock 13 N/b Angonoka was just leaving the self same pub so we teamed up with them through to Kate boats at Stockton where they planned to stop and refuel. This took care of the Stockton flight beautifully with them having a 4 man crew plus ourselves.

At Calcutt locks we did the first 2 solo and then teamed up with N/b Kingfisher on the last lock so all in all it was a good days work without anybody having to break into a sweat. Once we had cleared Napton junction we started to look for a mooring as the weather was starting to look decidedly unfavourable. Since mooring there has been quite a succession of hire boats and a few private ones passing by. The last one was N/b Angonoka who has caught up with us, we thought they were heading down the Oxford but apparently not.

Now N/b Dawn had passed us at Warwick about a week ago paired up with the butty Dusk. When we left Warwick we spotted the butty moored at Delta marine all on it's own. It turns out that the pair were sold off at the end of last season and the new owner has on sold the butty separately as he is not going to operate as a hotel narrowboat.

We also had a very interesting time chatting with the crew of N/b Angonoka the skipper of which is a Thames lock keeper. When we enlightened him to the fact that we had been on the Thames last July/August at Osney lock during the flooding it turned out that the Osney lock keeper at the time,Ray, is a work colleague and a distant relative by marriage. Apparently, Ray was runner up in the last years best Thames lock keeper (best kept lock) competition and that he had been invited to a function put on by the Prime Minister for work done during the flood's. I presume that everybody involved in the floods was included, not just Ray but he deserved some recognition for the work and hours he put in during that trying period.Well done Ray, keep up the good work.

Tomorrow we are off to Rugby to meet up with Derek and Christina and a doctors visit before we all head for the Fens..

1051 locks, 1358 miles, 40 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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