Hawkesbury to Braunston Top Lock 10 hrs 30 mins, 9 locks, 23.78 miles.
Sorry there are no photographs today because I only have a poor GPRS signal, which is a shame because I took some photographs of the Seven Spires at Brauntson, they are only there until the 29th August.
Wow what a day. I think it is safe to say it was an epic day for us. Luckily I went to bed at 9pm last night and I slept like a baby because today was going to be a long day. We got up at 5am and set off at 5.55am, with lots of lovely rain falling, but I know that it is just a spit in the ocean compared to what we need right now, with the reservior's being so empty. We are going to need so much more of the wet stuff. We got a wonderful start to the day with nothing else moving, but it still took us 10½ hours to get to Braunston top lock. The first thought was to at least get through Hillmorton locks and possibly moor up for the weekend but there was no mooring space there, we gave a wave to Nick Wolfe on Aldgate who was moored up. With no room to be had we carried on to Braunston, the rain was still falling so I said to Keith I would do lunch when we get to get to Braunston, but again there were no moorings to be had, so we had no option but to carry up the locks, which was not at all what we wanted and I was really feeling hungry and wet, despite wearing my wet weather gear. As we approached the bottom lock, there were 2 boats in front of us, so no one to share the locks with there as always it seems for us. Of course we waited in the lock for a while for someone to share, but then a boat came down so we had no choice but to carry on up on our own. Halfway up the flight Keith noticed a boat behind us, they must have pulled out from the moorings below The Admiral Nelson. He called back to them that we would wait for them at the next lock. This decision we now wish we hadn’t made, due to their behaviour with the locks and paddles. So there we were waiting in the next lock, and we waited, and we waited. Things then got worse because the 2 boats in front decided to whip a bottom paddle up for us at the next lock. I then noticed that there was a hell of a lot of water coming down, so much so that it was coming over the gates on the lock we were waiting in, so I ran up to see if there was a problem to find they had also left a top paddle up as well! Whilst this was all going on the boats there were then boats waiting to come down, so they were queuing up, and we still waited and we still waited!!!
Eventually the boat we waited for arrived, and by now it was quite obvious they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. I tried to remain patient even when another boater began to have a go at me for turning a lock around, I told him that it was not my doing and if he wants to have a go at someone, he should run after the boats that just went up. I then explained to him that they had left top and bottom paddles up and I was still calm. The gentleman realised then that it was not may fault so got off of his high horse. I bet he would not have spoken to Keith like he did to me, but I was firm and calm at the same time. I felt very proud of myself. This was just the sort of thing I needed and we hadn’t even had lunch yet. We finally moored up above Braunston top lock at 4:25pm and I made us both some yummy Bacon Butties, sorry if your a veggy, but I was so hungry I could have eaten the whole pig.
I do seriously wonder why some people are on boats and it makes both of us wonder if some people are worth waiting for, we will in future seriously consider not bothering. I know that you should wait for other boats, especially at the moment, but as we have been moored up there have been single boats going down the flight, so British Waterways need to get someone out here to stop it. There are big enough notices on the gates, but it seems people do not read notices.
Ok that's enough from me, I am off to dry my hair and think about my bed. Not sure what we are doing tomorrow, because we normally do not move at weekends, but we do need to get through Watford Locks in case they shut them down, so watch this space. xx