Saturday, July 04, 2009

On to familiar waters (just).

Sue and Vic, and Charles and Ann arrived for a fleeting visit yesterday, late morning. We had a brew while catching up with the news and I had a look in the saloons of both boats. No Problem has had a substantial refit in the saloon and dinette area, making it a lot more light and airy. This was done at Norbury Wharf since we last saw them. And Moore 2 Life has had a new TV/bookshelf unit fitted under the gunwale. This seems to be the norm on a lot of new boats. This was done by a chap who used to run DB Boatfitters at Braunston, but has now “downscaled” the business and does jobbing work.
Both are tidy jobs, matching the existing woodwork.

Meanwhile Meg renewed her acquaintance with t’other Meg, Lucy and Molly, chasing up and down the towpath.

We said bye as they headed off south. NP is going down to Northampton and the Nene, M2L is heading down towards London. It’ll probably be next year before we meet up again.

Bye you lot. Enjoy the rest of the summer.
Earlier on yesterday we had a bit of rain, but it brightened up later. But not for Andy Murray though. I have to say that on the day the best man won. Andy Roddick was certainly far more in command of the match, with just the odd flash of inspiration from Murray. Shame, though.

Today we were off around 10, with about an hour of cruising to get to Buckby Locks. We chugged steadily though a delightful wooded section, at least it would be if you are deaf! Just 20 yards to the right is the M1, providing a continuous roar as background to the birds, and 50 yards to the left is the West Coast Main Line, with Virgin Pendolinos supplying an intermittent whoosh.

Wooded section looks pleasant, without the soundtrack.
We’d left moving up to Buckby till today, as they’ll be more traffic about so more chance of picking up a lock partner for these last 7 broad locks. And there’s likely to be more boats coming down, further reducing the workload.

Approaching Buckby Bottom Lock.
The plan worked well on both counts. We hooked up with Stuart and Ann on NB Wineberry, a pleasant couple who are off to do the Leicester Ring, clockwise. Then it got better still after the second lock. They’re doing the ring in company with Ivor and Julie on their boat, who were waiting at the top of the flight. They decided to walk down to help. So we had an excellent locking crew, which, with boats coming down, made it very easy.

In Buckby locks.
The locks were built with side ponds to conserve water, but these are no longer in use. Instead each has evolved its own little ecosystem of plant and animal life.

Side Pond
We reached the top lock in good time, and left Wineberry here. The 2 crews were going for lunch at the pub.

Buckby Top Lock, Mags and Stuart on the boats....
And Julie, Ann and Ivor.
We turned right off the main line and moored a little way on. We’re staying put till Monday, I reckon Watford Locks (about an hour away) will be busy tomorrow. They are narrow, 1 boat width, so there’s no opportunity to share.

Norton Junction

Straight on to Braunston and Birmingham, turn right for Leicester and points north.

Both the Navigation Cottages next to the junction are up for sale.

Two different Estate Agents, both for £225,000 for a 250 year lease. Details here and here if you’re looking for a canalside property with lots going on, in a pleasant part of the country. Good access to the M1…..

I’ll settle down now and watch the Williams sisters battle for the Womens Single title again.

Locks 7, miles 5

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