Monday, 17 April 2017

Buckby locks

Easter Sunday 16th April; Braunston Tunnel to Nether Heyford

We woke to the sun shining through the trees.  Lovely for Easter morning.  But it was cold enough for hats, fleeces and gloves as we set off for Norton Junction and Buckby locks.  It was a very attractive spot to moor, between bridges 6 and 7.

1 last nights mooring

A Napton hire-boat was rapidly catching up as we approached the top lock and we were pleased to have company as the lock gates turned out to be very heavy.  But of the six aboard, only one person was at all communicative, and luckily for me was one of the crew.  At the helm, Dave had a hard job trying to make conversation. 

The first two locks were against us, but then the morning rush from the bottom of the flight arrived and we passed boats at the rest of the locks.  I was amused by this boat’s name …

2 a name to conjure withThe first owner’s name was Shipp – but as the current owner said, there are probably better words to pair your name with!   In one of the longer pounds was a large family of ducklings – not our first this year, but close enough together for a photograph.  Thirteen babies in all, at least for now.

3 ducklings

At the bottom lock, the crew of the boats coming up were there ready to deal with the gates so I got a rare opportunity to take a photo from inside a lock.

4 leaving buckby bottom lock

It took two hours to get down the flight as there was a fair bit of waiting involved, but it wasn’t quite time for lunch so we went on until the canal and motorway parted company before we stopped.  There is a lot of crab-apple blossom out now, taking over from the blackthorn; here the motorway is just beyond.

5 crab apple blossom and M1

After lunch we cruised on through occasional showers, stopping briefly at Weedon Bec to get the Sunday paper from the small Tesco.  I only just spotted this chap and his dog in time for a photo.  A bit spooky I think, and pretty realistic except for the plants growing up his trouser-legs.

6 old gent and dog

In spite of the sun it was cold because of the wind, and we decided to stop as soon as we found a suitably quiet spot, which we did in the Nether Heyford area.

8 mooring at nether heyford

It was very pleasant having a cuppa with the sunshine streaming through the window.  Then it rained quite a bit and we were glad we weren’t cruising.  The crews passing looked very cold.

7 locks and 7 miles

Total this trip; 15 miles, 16 broad locks, 1 tunnel

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