Monday, 22 July 2013

Flecknoe to Fenny Compton

The low hills round the canal were shrouded in cloud and it was cool and lovely!  We were away by 8, aiming to get up the Napton flight before the weather got too hot.

By 9 we were passing Napton junction and though there was no sun it was humid and sultry, not quite the weather for lock work!  You can’t pass Napton without noticing the windmill of course….

napton windmill

We paused at the bottom services to empty the cassettes and dispose of rubbish, then straight into the bottom lock kindly set for us by one of the two volunteer lockies, who set the next for us before going off for a coffee. 

We could see the other lockie setting the third lock for us as we worked through the second, before he went off for coffee, but discovered when we arrived that a boat had been waiting to come down.  He had just walked past them - what on earth was he thinking of?  On we went by ourselves again, the sun well out now …

napton locks

As we approached the road bridge at lock 12 we had some unusual company on the towpath.  There was no sign of where they had come from, so we shooed them away from the bridge to keep them off the road and reported it via 101.  escaped sheep

They and the water buffalo on the other side of the canal ignored each other totally.

water buffalo

By the time we reached Napton Adkins lock we had left the sheep behind, but as there were people at Holt Farm (the cream tea place) Deb ran up to see if they knew who they might belong to, and left them about to phone the owner.  Consciences assuaged, we cleared the locks and found a shady spot for lunch before going on to Fenny.  The afternoon’s cruising was extremely uncomfortable, a scorching sun and high humidity, and we were relieved to slip into the only remaining space on the moorings.  No shade yet! so we fled to the pub garden for an ice lolly under the weeping willow.  Hearing strange noises we investigated ….

piglets 2

As well as their little camp site the pub now has piglets to entertain the customers!  Although there is a sign warning that pigs bite, they do enjoy having their backs scratched – we could see from this one’s snout and tummy that they had been wallowing in mud to keep cool.

piglet 1

As we enjoyed a meal in the pub (cooler than outside) we could hear a few sporadic drops of rain which continued during the evening with thunder.  Because of the rain we couldn’t sleep with the sliding hatch open as normal and in spite of having the front doors open beneath the cratch cover the boat was like a sauna.

7 locks today.

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