Crick to Foxton Locks 17.8 miles travelled in 6 hours and 15 minutes.
I have had the most fabulous days cruising.
What a difference a day makes, because today was as calm as can be with lots of lovely winter sunshine to warm us after a chilly night.
We woke up this morning to a frost and there was not a breath of wind to be had. I took Paddy for his walk and took in the stunning sight of the sun coming up over the marina. Back on the boat we had breakfast, I then relit the back cabin stove, which I allowed to go out overnight because of the string winds. With the fire relit and the kettle filled up, we made our plans for the say.
Our first thought was to head for Welford Junction for the weekend, but then the plans changed as they do so often and we decided that because it was so lovely we would head for Foxton Locks and hope there would be a mooring.
We left Crick at 8.15am with the sun coming up over Cracks Hill. The vegetation cut back ended at Crick, this was probably due to the Christmas and New year break, so I expect they will be back on the job next week.
It was a bright, chilly morning perfect for cruising. There was plenty of wildlife out and about as well, because we saw two Kingfishers, a couple of Hares a few Buzzards.
This one sat and still and allowed me to take its photo.
Then it took flight.
For a while I took over the tiller whilst Keith went inside the boat. It was pure pleasure to be steering today and to see such fantastic views in the sunshine.
Part of the vegetation cut back seems to have included the reeds which have been over taking the canal. As we cruised along we noticed that two of the largest clumps of reeds that have been reducing the cut width for a longtime have been removed, making life so much easier, especially the clump on the bend north of Mountain Barn Bridge, which was difficult to get round let alone meet a boat coming the other way!
Whilst Keith continued to steer the boat, I got on with cooking our dinner for tonight, it was then placed in the back cabin stove to cook slowly.
On route the wildlife just kept on entertaining us.
A beautiful Kestrel sat in a bush looking for some lunch before hovering overhead.
What surprised us was how few boats were on the move and moored on the summit. There are usually a few which moored up for long periods of time and we have got to know them, but only a couple were in their usual places. Maybe like us, they decided not to stay up here due to the water shortage, or maybe they just got moved on. We only actually saw three boats on the move. On route I heated up some pasties and made us coffee to sustain us until we reached Foxton Locks. A fairly longish day for us, 6hours 15mins, but it saw us all the way through to the top of Foxton locks. Shock of all shocks there was only on boat moored at bridge 60. There was no one moored up above the locks, we took our pick of the moorings. Keith then walked to the top lock, there was no keeper there, they had already been and locked the gates up and left. He did see a notice on the lock keepers cottage it said "there was no lock keeper on duty, and to follow the instructions on the lock beam". There was no mention of water shortage restrictions. But we will try to see Bill the head lock keeper over the weekend to find out if we can go down through the locks. We know we cannot get past Johnson's Bridge No7 because there is a tree down and is closed until it has been removed. So we may have to stay at Foxton for a few days.
Chat soon xx