Friday, 15 February 2008

Time is flying...and I'm not keeping up - Sun 10 Feb

On Sunday, Opposite Lock crew and I rose early. We progressed slowly through Braunston, stopping for Water, Bins, Elsan disposal, and a cup of tea and chat with a lovely man on a tug-style boat named "Kyle".

The Braunston lock flight was very quiet, and a cheeky pre-lunchtime beer from the Admiral Nelson whilst the boats were in the lock gave Jonno the inspiration to breast the boats together! This meant that Jonno could steer both boats simultaneously, leaving Helen and I to work the locks. I got a work out, and Jonno earned some man-kudos by steering 2 boats at once!

After the locks, we stopped to devour a delicious beef and beer stew which Helen had been cooking all morning. One of the dogs jumped off the wrong side of the boat and had a little swim before we set off to brave Braunston tunnel.

This was my first attempt at a tunnel single-handed (except Newbold, which is so short it doesn't count...) and, whilst I made it through relatively unscathed, I have to say that I didn't enjoy it. It's dark, wet, cold, and you can't see the other end for the first few minutes. Also, in tunnels, as the light moves at exactly the same speed as you / your boat, there's a bizarre sensation of being still / moving backwards until you look at the wall and see the bricks whizzing past. Creepy.

After the tunnel, my friend Mark called and asked what I was up to as he fancied an afternoon in the fresh air and sunshine. I arranged to meet him at Watford Gap services, on the way to the Watford locks. Sadly, we arrived too late to make it to the Watford locks and so ended up mooring near the New Inn on the A5, in a lovely spot near a rope-swing on the towpath. Sunday evening was yet again spent in true boater fashion, eating and drinking in the New Inn. Good food, good weather, good company, beautiful countryside - this is what life's about!

On Monday, the sun was still shining so I took the afternoon off work and completed the Watford lock flight and Crick tunnel (where I bumped the wall and got covered in tunnel dirt, yuk, I still hate tunnels), mooring in a gorgeous spot which sadly has no mobile phone or internet signal. Hence the blog taking so long to post.

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