Saturday 21st July; Welford to Crick
The rain yesterday evening didn’t come to much and the ground even away from the tree cover was perfectly dry. The morning was bright and sunny once more. I took rubbish and recycling up to the basin, and nipped up to the shop for the Saturday paper before we left. We waited a while for the first two boats of the day to get ahead, but we still caught them up – the first was leaving the lock as we reached it. The second was a resident moorer at the end of the arm who wanted to spend the day doing some noisy work on the boat, so had decided to get out of the marina area and moor further down the arm.
I wonder how long this sign has been on the lock - haven’t windlasses with a small tapering hole been around for rather a while?
After yesterday’s quiet cruise, the moorings at Welford junction were now quite full and there were a lot of boats coming towards us as we turned back towards Crick. Around Downtown Bridge the fields are wide, full of what looks like barley, and the skies are huge.
Nearer to the Hemplow Hills the trees close in again.
As the morning wore on and the thermals began to build the gliders started to make an appearance. At last I managed a photo of one being towed up (considerably cropped and enlarged I have to admit. If I try and zoom in to take the photo I can never get the blessed things in the viewfinder).
It was the same with this buzzard, coyly turning away from the camera. She is a bit fuzzy.
We moored for lunch just before Yelvertoft in a little patch of shade, then as the sun came round we moved on to fill up the water tank at Yelvertoft’s Skew Bridge. There are plenty of wind turbines in this area, mostly turning slowly in the gentle breezes. These two, photographed from the water point, almost made a star pattern.
As we neared Crack’s Hill we thought we saw a narrowboat in the field, a bit like that one (on the Oxford?) where someone has filled in the way back onto the canal so they didn’t have to pay a licence fee. This one’s not quite habitable though!
Further round the hill was a row of boys hanging on the edge of the footbridge. And yes they did jump in! Luckily not when we were too close. We asked how deep it was and were airily informed ‘plenty deep enough’. I took the photo from a distance after we had passed them, and zoomed in – didn’t want to encourage them.
As we were considering where to moor this little insect appeared. It zoomed around on the roof, antennae waving gently, but it was its front legs doing the biz, sweeping vigorously back and forth, as if it were tasting or sniffing for something. It was definitely doing something with its mouthparts when it paused, concentrating on the ring spilt from my morning coffee – was it the caffeine or the milk it liked? No sugar!
We moored between the marina entrances in lovely shade. After an hour or so we had cooled down a bit, so Dave and Meg went for a walk in the Jubilee Field; the entrance is by the bridge the kids were jumping from. I went for a run, going across that bridge and following the bridleway over the shoulder of Crack’s Hill to bridge 17 to rejoin the towpath. If the path had gone over the top I would have chosen a different route! Back at the Jubilee Field I took the footpaths to the edge of the village through some new housing (following a resident’s instructions to come out near the school), and came back to the canal near the tunnel entrance, via the footpath that leads from the road near the shop.
11 miles, 1 lock