Sunday 12 January 2014

Break out to Braunston and a chance bloggers meeting

As the weather has finally abated for a couple of days Chris and I took the opportunity to get out of Crick on AmyJo for the weekend and headed to Braunston.

Yesterday dawned cold but with a cloudless sky and surprise, the sun even had some warmth in it though the air was was still cold. We topped up AmyJo’s water tank ( without tripping the electrics this time) and backed out of the mooring then left the marina in windless conditions. We always wondered when people say “its so good to be on the move” and now we know why, as we moved through the countryside it did indeed feel good.

We soon encountered our first landmark as we entered Crick tunnel and managed to travel the whole length without meeting another boat. As this was our first tunnel we were quite relieved at that

At 1,528 yards (1397m) long. one can only just see the
portal and the other end of the tunnel


It took 20 minutes to get there and an impromptu shower awaited
Now we were out into the country with only ourselves for company, so peaceful. While Chris made a brew she could still enjoy the views through the round window



We had a lovely run to the Watford locks where a very helpful lady lock volunteer helped us down the staircase section Looking at the photos the only thing that gives away the fact its not summer is there are no leaves on the trees. We worked our way down the locks in perfect conditions, such a lovely day to go a crewzin.










Having earned her Lock wheeler stripes, Chris prepares the next paddles
She even managed to drink her tea whilst lock wheeling
We next managed to negotiate the tight right turn at Norton junction without hitch and made good time to Braunston Tunnel, slightly longer than Crick tunnel at 2042 yards again we got through without a boat coming the other way but could just see another boat ahead going our way which we eventually shared Braunston locks with, going in side by side into each lock in turn.  Having two people working the locks we got down them pretty fast until the last lock.

Lovely front door of the lock keeper’s cottage, would love that at home.


Our lock partners Judith and Steve on Bright Water. Steve and I stared longingly at the Admiral Nelson and nearly decided to have a pint but the day was wearing on and we needed to find a mooring. before it got dark


At the bottom lock, as we entered, were two boats each with a crew of four waiting to come up.  Not one of them came to help work the lock so this left Chris to do it herself while Judith dealt with the paddles of the previous lock.  They all  just stood and watched throughout.  Needless to say we did not hurry and I even stopped just at the lock entrance to pick Chris up.

Ladies doing dinner came to mind.

Finally we reached Braunston and slowed through the moorings as there were boats everywhere.  Steve managed to get a mooring just the other side of the first marina entrance and we were lucky to get onto the last mooring just before the famous marina bridge entrance.



A glorious evening sky as the light starts to fade.

Our mooring for the night

Once we got the mooring ropes sorted we decided to lock up AmyJo and go for a stroll along the cut and after walking through the next bridge ‘ole we were pleasantly surprised to come across nb Muleless (click) tied up with Della and Garry on board. We have been following their blog for some time and had commented on each others blogs several times so we knocked to say hello and were invited aboard.


Muleless is a lovely boat and we spent a pleasant few hours swapping our build experiences and how each others boats performed. Della and Gary made us most welcome but having not had much too eat all day we did not over stay our welcome and after a glass of wine, headed back to AmyJo in the dark with torch in hand to cook dinner.

We stayed at Braunston for the night and today we winded and headed back to the marina as that dreaded work beckoned us for Monday.

On Tuesday I'll post about our return trip and how Chris too
k charge at the Watford flight.