Saturday, 4 June 2016

Flecknoe and Crick, Calcutt and home

Friday 27th and Saturday 28th May; Braunston to Flecknoe, Crick.  Sunday 29th and Monday 30th May; Flecknoe to Calcutt

On Friday we had an uneventful cruise under grey skies as far as the moorings near bridge 102 at Flecknoe, one of our favourite spots.  Quite a few boats were near the bridge, so we went along a few hundred yards.  One of the moored boats was the strange-looking liveaboard with the amazing front fender.

1 unusual liveaboard

I was standing beside a little hen coop belonging to the boat moored behind.  We had to keep Meg on the lead as we passed, as the hens are often let out to scratch about in the hedge.

As soon as we had moored up, Dave got the bike and pedalled off to Calcutt to fetch the car ready for tomorrow.  There is plenty of room to park up at the bridge.  Apart from one very uneven and muddy bit nearer to Napton Junction it was a fairly easy ride.  He spent the afternoon painting the red coach lines on the starboard side while I got on inside with cleaning and baking.

We walked up to the pub at beer o’clock for a welcome pint after our labours.  It’s a long long walk up the hill …

3 long road to old olive bush

but with wonderful views as you come back down from the hill.

3 miles, and almost as much on foot.

On Saturday we were up bright and early to give Meg a walk before we drove to Crick.  We parked on the edge of the village and walked to the show along the canal, avoiding the long queue for the car park.  Meg did not enjoy the footbridge at all – her claws kept catching in the metal mesh on the way down the other side.  It was my first time at the show; Dave had been just once, before we got our share in nb Padworth, so that would be over ten years ago now.

We booked ourselves in to see several boats but couldn’t get a slot on the one we really wanted to see, Silver Melody, which was the eventual winner. 

crick show

We couldn’t take Meg into the boats of course but she was happy to be left with minders as she got a treat every time!  She loves people anyway, it’s dogs she’s less friendly with.  Luckily none of the dogs seemed to be taking much notice of each other, all looking rather resigned to a boring day as they trailed along by their owners.  We spent some time talking to Wilson’s and Kinver Canopies as we will need to replace our cratch cover this year.  The rest of the time, between dotting back and forth to view boats, we just browsed the stalls and sat in the sunshine.

Before we drove back to Flecknoe we walked up the towpath from the bridge to let poor Meg off the lead for a run.  She had been extremely patient and well-behaved all day.  The moorings when we got back were still uncrowded with plenty of space.

2 flecknoe

On Sunday I took Meg and drove to Calcutt to take the car back to our marina mooring, then we walked back along the canal.  Yet again the day had dawned cold and grey with the cloud cover lifting for a glorious afternoon and evening.  We decided to stay put for the day; it’s bank holiday weekend on one of the busiest stretches of canal so we got on with a few jobs and generally lazed around.  Apart from a lull over lunchtime there was a constant stream of boats in both directions.  Quite a few seemed to be doing a day out-and-back from the marinas around Napton Junction.

Of course we Dave had to expend some energy chucking a ball about ….

2 ball fun

with the inevitable result.

3 inevitable result

By evening there were boats tucked in behind and ahead of us, with boats as far as the eye could see in both directions.  That’s a bank holiday for you I suppose!

On Monday it was cold enough for hats and fleeces as we set off.  The locks were very busy but we were still moored up in the marina by 11.30.  There is a swan family close to the junction; Dave was menaced as he went past the other day but the adults hustled the babies into the water and followed them when I approached with Meg.

swan family napton junction

We left for Devon mid-afternoon; the benefit of end-of-bank-holiday travel to the West Country is that the traffic is mostly going the other way!

3 miles, 3 locks

Trip stats; 106 miles, 14 locks, Newbold and Snarestone tunnels (twice) and the little swing bridge at Rose Narrowboats.

In a few weeks’ time we are hoping to cruise the Upper Thames, which will be new waters for us.

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