Friday, 3 October 2014

Rugby to Lower Shuckburgh

Whilst at Rugby this strange contraption came by stunning and removing fish.  I later read that CRT were moving the fish due to lack of oxygen from dredging.

It was time to leave Rugby, and head in the direction of Braunston again. 

Amazing how some people tie their ropes, this time the centre one
Passing by Clifton Cruisers they were just about to crane a boat back in that they had been working on, they waved us through as the straps were still being adjusted.

We were soon at the bottom of the Hillmorton locks again, with a few boats waiting to go up. One complete set of locks has been closed as one of the tops ones still has repairs going on. We were just through the first lock when a lady mentioned she read the blog, most people know her as she make the mooring pin covers using Sainsbury bags.

Lady Esther where the mooring pin covers are made
We continued onto the second lock where we joined the end of an even bigger queue of six waiting. I went off windlass in hand to try and be of assistance and help speed things up, with everyone else waiting by their boats for their turn. It was only another lady off a Napton hire boat behind us that also came to help, we soon got things moving between us helping five boats up and the same coming down, over an hour later we were through, unfortunately no one came up to help the lady off the hire boat through I guess most people just work their own lock.

We were virtually straight through the top lock and on our way again, down the Barby straight and moored for a couple of days near Willoughby, just outside Braunston.

There were fun and games on Sunday when a Willow Wren hire boat gave an oncoming boat a bit too much space and managed to ground himself on the offside. They nearly made it out by rock in the boat but once moving managed to head straight for the bank again. Another boat coming the other way tried to pull them off before coming behind it and dragged them off backwards. Quite a queue had built up but everyone were soon on their way again.

On Monday just as we were leaving Paul and Sally (Living on a Narrow Boat) walked by, nice to meet them at last. We stopped and chatted for a while, they were moored about half a mile in front of us. On passing them 20 minutes later Sally kindly invited us in for coffee from their super duper coffee machine, so it was much later than expected when we passed through Braunston turning right at the junction.

Our neighbours for a few days

Sally, Paul and James 
 On the Grand Union for a while stopping just before Lower Shuckburgh.

Next day we went out for an early morning walk to Napton Junction, we hadn't even got round the corner when we saw a familiar face, it was Alan (Walkie man) and his dog Bracken, it's well over a year since we last met so really lovely to catch up again. A bit further on a a familiar boat this time, Dave and Allison's Free Spirit, hope to catch up with them on Freaky Friday.

13 miles and 3 locks
Total 485.5 miles 371 locks