Monday 27 May 2019

Cricked out!

 Sunday 26th May; Crick show, and a little cruise to Flecknoe

We were up quite early today.  Dave turned the engine on at 8, so the fridge would have enough juice to run while we spent the day at Crick.  By 9.30 we were walking down the towpath towards Napton junction, where Dave went to fetch the car from Calcutt marina, while Meg and I continued to the road bridge at Napton Narrowboats where he picked us up.  All the Napton boats were out this morning.

We parked in the village so we could get the paper, then walked down to the towpath and along to the temporary bridge over the canal.  We were delighted to see that the temporary footbridge had what looked like roofing felt over the metal walkway, meaning that Meg didn’t have to be carried over.  We had a lovely time at Crick looking at some of the new boats and dodging the showers – Dave had got his waterproof but I’d trusted the weatherman and left mine behind, which turned out to have been a bit foolish.  But I soon dried off.  Because of the times of our viewing appointments we had to have an early lunch, which turned out to be a good move – there were no queues, we found a vacant table, and managed to finish eating before the next shower!  I had chaat from the Indian food stall and it was excellent.

We were sitting on the bank in a break between viewings and suddenly realised that Cathy and Michael, who we met last year on the Gloucester and Sharpness canal, were just a few feet away. 

So we had a great time catching up for a while before it was time to leave.  We had seen round 6 boats and things were starting to get rather muddled in our minds, in spite of the many photos I took.

We drove back, Dave dropping Meg and me off at Napton Narrowboats as before.  Meg hates crossing double locks because of the slippery metal bits where they join in the middle, so we couldn’t all go back to the marina – it’s a heck of a long way round to walk from the marina back to the canal at Napton Narrowboats!  After we’d got back and had some reviving tea and cake we set off again – the batteries needed a boost, so we trickled gently along towards Flecknoe.  We found a nice Chuffed-sized space and moored near the farm in the sunshine.  Lovely!

Just 2 boat miles today, and rather more by car.

Sunday 26 May 2019

Just around the corner

Saturday 25th May; Calcutt Marina to just east of Napton Junction

After a much longer than usual wait for this trip we finally made it up to Calcutt after a tedious journey.  There were no delays on the M5 for us, unlike the poor souls on their way to the southwest.  Instead we foolishly stopped at Gordano services, which is a good one for dogs, then found ourselves in a long tailback to get out again!  Pesky tourists!  Then once we’d left the motorways and were driving towards Calcutt, there was a road closed with no diversion signs to add to the delay. Never mind!

We found Chuffed on the visitor moorings which are by the workshops.  Not a pretty lookout, but we needed to stay for an hour or two for a bit of shore power, as we are only cruising a very short way today and don't like running the engine for long periods while we are moored.  This photo shows where we were moored – our space was between the first two boats and not in that big gap! so there was a lot of shuffling necessary to get out, as the workshop wharf is less than a boat's length in front of the bows. 

We had a short wait at Calcutt locks for a boat coming down the bottom lock, then we were joined by NB Yorkshire Rose for the flight.  We had an easy passage, with boats coming down every lock and a queue waiting at the top.  It looks as though the pillar on the bottom lock had been recently greased and the grease had melted on the gear ...

We trickled slowly past the permanent moorings on the offside, turned towards Braunston at the junction and moored on a short stretch of Armco a couple of hundred yards along.  Being serenaded by a sedge warbler and long-tailed tits as I write.

Note the lovely black hull!  Chuffed had to come out of the water for the rudder to be seen to, so we had her blacked as well as it would need doing before winter anyway.This afternoon Dave has replaced a broken lamp in the saloon and fitted the new battery condition meter.

3 locks, 1 mile