Monday, 15 April 2013


Captain's Log - Week 6

We have had quite a full week, but not done a lot of cruising again, but hey we're in no hurry!

Before leaving our mooring at Puddle Banks we took a walk along by the River Leam and managed to collect a load of branches which had been cut down and left in piles they were just the right size to fit in the stove and we managed to get enough for a good few days so that saved quite a bit of coal, which seems to be a precious commodity at the moment with the lingering cold weather, Jules Fuels coal boat had problems getting some from their suppliers and we heard Mark on Callisto had to wait for several days at Sutton Stop for his delivery, making him several days behind schedule.  Now the weather has warmed up a bit during the day we have been able to leave lighting the fire until evening.

After collecting the new fridge from Midland Chandlers we stopped briefly outside Braunston Marina, James went off to get some more rope to make more fenders and I walked up the hill to collect a few supplies to keep us going, only bread, burgers, bacon bits and rolls, then we were on our way.  We were straight into the Braunston lock flight, there are six locks in the flight with a total rise of 35'6".  The first lock we were solo so a bit of a pain for James trying to keep LJ in place, but we managed to pair up for the remaining five in the flight making it much easier and it also means after opening the paddles one of the crew can go and get the next one ready whilst one closes up after the boats leave, unfortunately we soon caught up with the pair ahead of us, they were slow going so a lot of hanging around for us.

Once out of the top lock Braunston tunnel was looming in the distance, it didn't feel quite so scarey this time round as we knew what to expect in these long tunnels now.  Brauston tunnel is 2042 yards long and was opened in 1796, there are three air shafts and it is just wide enough for two narrow boats to pass, amazingly though the only one we passed was about 50ft from the end so quite lucky there I think.

Once though the tunnel we passed Norton Junction where the Leicester section takes you up to, well Leicester! Not this time, but one day we'll head up there. We stopped off at the water point just before the top Buckby lock and I managed to try out my new hose, bought in the Freaky Friday sale. It's one of the blue flat ones on its own reel and my only concern was am I going to be able to coil it up properly again. Once filled my concerns were gone, of course it went back on the reel perfectly. We headed off down the top lock of the Buckby flight and moored up just before the canal shop at Anchor Cottage by the next lock.  We have managed to get a few jobs done here meaning a couple of walks/cycles down the lock flight to the chandlers at Whilton buy some small bit and pieces, a switch for the fridge and some foam sealant for our battery cover which we have been meaning to do for a while as the old sealant was worn and it was leaking slightly. I've also had another Tesco delivery so we're fully supplied again for a while. 

We have finished laying down the wiring for the fridge so have been able to everything back in the cupboards and the oven back in place, with the exception of the back cupboard as we still have to get the wiring into the battery bank, nearly there though and at least the rest of the boat is back in order! So half a day was spent dusting, mopping and cleaning windows to get it back in ship shape.

This morning we had a visit from RCR, but I'll let James write about that.

Tuesday 9th April - Braunston, Puddle Banks - Long Buckby, Lock 8
6.5 miles and 7 locks

Cruising - 6.5 miles
Locks - 7
Tunnels - 1

Cruising - 52.5 miles
Locks - 11
Tunnels - 2

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