Posted 9th June
Another glorious day, although the breeze was strong enough that we occasionally needed a second jumper. We set off before 9, and tootled along, up Calcutt locks as the hire boats were coming in, then turned towards Braunston where we moored late morning. We saw a lot of birdlife this morning;
this little moorhen with its stubby little wings was our neighbour at last night’s mooring, along with its parents (though it’s a shame Mum/Dad decided to turn it’s tail at the crucial moment). We saw a Great Crested Grebe and tufted ducks on or near Napton Reservoir, and swifts, swallows and house martins on the way to Braunston. There were also sedge warblers, reed buntings, skylarks and yellowhammers, and some new goslings and cygnets.
We moored at Braunston Puddle Banks for some shopping and lunch, then cracked on towards Rugby. There were good views of Braunston Church once we passed the junction.
We passed Piston Broke enjoying the sunshine from the bank, and also saw Swamp Frogs which was featured on the cover of last month’s Canal Boat magazine.
At Hillmorton locks we were helped down by a friendly C&RT volunteer who said we were the 48th boat today – much quieter than yesterday when he saw 72 through. The middle pair of locks had new gates; they had lines of poetry carved into them; ‘This door makes depth / captive for a while’ and there is more on the other side. The lock keeper told us that when they held an open day so people could go down into the lock and see how the gates were fitted, the poet was standing there declaiming poetry. It was freezing cold and nobody took any notice of him poor chap. Very soon after the work was finished someone had corrected him by writing ‘gate’ above the word ‘door’. This idea of carving poetry on new gates seems not to be universally popular; there has been grumbling in the magazines.
We took on water below the bottom lock and then decided to moor just a little further on to enjoy the rest of the evening’s sunshine with a little light polishing of the brasses -
and some relaxing in the sunshine.