Braunston Top Lock to Crick, 8.5miles, 7 locks in 3 hrs 30 mins.
We had a later start planned this morning, but this did not stop me from waking up early. I was awake before 5am mainly because the rain was lashing it down outside. There was nothing for it but to get up and make a cup of tea for us both.
So having drunk our tea, it was then time to get up as we wanted to get through the tunnel and on to the Leicester Arm at Norton Junction because we knew that Watford locks would be opening at 9.30am, so we set off at 7:20am to arrive at the bottom of Watford locks just after 9:00am. When we got there, there was already a queue of boats waiting to go up, so we joined the back of the queue and Terry one of the two lock keepers on duty called Terry said that we could come up through the bottom lock and moor in the 1st pound, so once the queue cleared to us we climbed up through the first lock and moored up to await the 2 boats to come down, by this time it was gone 9.30am. We joined nb Waffle in the pound, which was about 2ft down on water, so we had to keep the stern in the lock entrance so we could get on and off the boat. Whilst we waited for boats to come down I made us both a coffee and we got chatting to the couple off of Waffle, who we had come up the Atherstone Flight with. Once the 1st boat came down through the lock 10.25am the pound came up enough for us to get in against the bank and I could tighten the centre line, as we awaited, the 2nd and final boat down at 11.45am , then Waffle set off up the locks and we followed close behind. Hadar’s bow got a free wash from the leaking lock gates, all we needed was the shampoo and the whirly brushes and it would have been like a car wash! We finally got to the top at 11.25am, which considering the queue was not to bad. I enjoyed a good old natter with both the Terry's who had been telling of the goings on at the flight this past few days since the restriction had begun.
One such story was of a boat we did not read any of the signage to sign in with the lockie first, they just emptied the first lock and went in. When the lock keeper what they were doing, they were completely oblivious that there were three large signs telling them they had to sign in first. They then went on to argue the point of going up through the locks. When they reached lock 3 the lockie asked them where they were heading for and was told the Erewash Canal. In a calm voice the lockie told them they would not be going to the Erewash unless they had a home mooring because Foxton Locks were closed to only essential traffic. They did not have a home mooring but were determined that they were going on to the Erewash. But the lockie eventually made them understand it was not going to happen. They then realised they had to turn around in one of the pounds and head back down the two locks they had come up through. The lockie told them if they had signed in as they should have, he could have told them they were going to have to turn around before they started up the flight. Why oh Why do people not take notice of signs, notices and lock keepers arghhhhhhhh.
Once through the locks we pressed on through Crick tunnel, and then had a wonderful surprise because we found a mooring at Crick, one boat up from the bridge ‘ole. We were just about to pull in when the heavens opened, and I did not have my jacket on (deep joy), but no sooner we had moored up the sun came out again and I did not take long to dry out. We will spend the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend here, because we are unsure as to what moorings will be like further up.
Keith found out that the good news is that despite the problems with the Leicester locks and Foxton locks, Watford locks will remain open without restrictions because they are back pumped. This means that now we are on the summit for the Foxton Festival, we should still be able to get to Stoke Bruerne for the “Village at War Weekend” whatever else happens stoppage wise. So going to keep my fingers crossed on that point.
Sorry there are no photo's again today, but my GPRS signal is not good at all.
Chat soon xx.