Thursday, 25 September 2014

Home ground, nearly.

When we have Napton on the Hill in view, we know we are within days of our home mooring.  Today we saw it.  Not so long now before we will be back in the marina.  So somewhat sad.

But, the weather has again been kind, dry, bright if a tad windy later on.  This morning we once again sat tight whilst the washer dealt with yet another load.  We were in sight of the first lock of the day.  As the washer washed, a boat hove into view and prepared the lock.  Just as they were preparing to enter, along came a second and so both entered and began the ascent.  A lady single handing had preceded these two and we expected she would hold them up somewhat.  How wrong were we!

Cleaning off the leaves, whilst waiting for the water to fill

Half an hour or so later, we were off.  This is a flight of ten wide locks.  Using the trusted one gate and one paddle system, up we went.  After a few locks we became aware that we had caught up with the two boats we had seen starting the flight before us.  And so we followed them up the rest of the flight. Sometimes these locks are as easy on your own, as with company.  We saw not a sign of the single handed lady boater, who was obviously somewhat quicker than this pair.

At the top of this rather pleasant flight we ambled past Ventnor farm and Calcutt marina's.   Approaching the three Calcutt locks, there was the lady single handing her boat who had passed us earlier in the morning.  You have to admire someone who tackles these locks alone.  We shared the locks with her and were soon at the top, she was very efficient.  At Napton junction, we waved her goodbye as she headed for Banbury on the Oxford, whilst we continued on the Grand Union, towards Braunston.

The woodpecker was very vocal

We are really back in hire boat country again now.  The numerous marinas in the area also contribute to the traffic.  Bit of a shock to the system after so few boats moving since leaving the Stratford. After a few miles,in sight of  Bush hill, we moored up for the day.  Ali did some touching up to the wounds and we chilled out, or I did. 

The fruits of yesterdays foraging resulted in a delicious Apple and Blackberry pie, baked to perfection, by Ali of course.

Miles 6.5
Locks 13

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