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Category: Continuous Cruising

Living on a continuous cruiser on the UK canal system under CRT rules.

Gayton Junction -> Gayton in the Fields

Gayton Junction -> Gayton in the Fields

Due to some nefarious action on my database, I seem to have lost one of my posts.

Not to worry, it’s out there somewhere, and no doubt if I get bored enough, it will return!

Trip to Nepal

I’ve been trying to prepare the blog for my forthcoming trip abroad by putting some sort of header to make it easier to navigate as my trip progresses.

For the database, this created some problems in parsing any kind of requests, and when I went to make some alterations to the appearance of the site, all my requests timed-out.

I tried disabling plug-ins and running wordpress Vanilla, as it were, which had a slight effect, but still with severely limited functionality. Re-installed. Etc.

I contacted my hosts, Kualo, (you can find them here https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.kualo.com, ), to ask whether they could offer any guidance.

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Blisworth -> Stoke -> Blisworth

Blisworth -> Stoke -> Blisworth

Only spent 2 nights in Stoke Bruerne. The rest was over the Christmas period during which I was out visiting people.

Stoke Bruerne

Has two pubs. Amongst other things… A water-point, and the pathways and car-park access is simple to the boat, with many visitors on a daily basis making it safe and easily accessible and a good place to leave your boat for a few days unattended.

I unloaded and loaded the boat in Stoke, (with Christmas gifts), then took the tunnel back to Blisworth.

 

Stoke Bruerne

Blisworth

This time I’ve decided to moor in the village, rather than further down on Station Road, which is probably about 1/2 mile.

It’s fairly quite, and apart from the odd walker and yapping dog, it’s pretty much silent.

Moored boats in Blisworth

I’ve been here a few days.

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(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)

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Gayton Junction -> Blisworth

Gayton Junction -> Blisworth

Only moving down a little bit.

This is the place closest to work, so I’m here until after Christmas to make things easier.

It’s roughly a four mile drive to Amazon from here.

16 miles less than the same time last year.

Blisworth

I went to the pub/restaurant, the Walnut Tree the other night.

They had a band on, which was quite entertaining. Just playing some soul/pop covers.

Free to get in.

No problems.

(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)

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Weedon Bec -> Gayton Junction

Weedon Bec -> Gayton Junction

Where the dear and the antelope play…

Gayton Junction
Gayton Junction

Not so much as closer to the bin/toilet, town, coal merchants, motorway, supermarkets etc.

All the things you’re going to want to be close to as the weather closes in.

You can see Bonnie here on the right.

Post Offices

A problem round here is the lack of Post Offices wanting to do Post Restanté. The staff in Towcester seemed particular awkward. They get described as ‘miserable and un-helpful’ in reviews online.

That’s certainly the impression I got.

The woman starting trying to tell me what it was that post restanté was, and shift responsibility elsewhere, “you need to check with them check with that, check online etc“.

I put it clearer ‘I’ve been doing it for years. I’m not asking you what it is or how it works, I’m asking you whether you’ll receive my mail under the scheme‘, to which she grudgingly shrugged. I don’t expect much. They’re awkward twats at the best of times.

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(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)

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Dodford -> Weedon

Dodford -> Weedon

Weedon Central. Or Weedon Bec as some people call it.

New bypass

So… The new bypass opened next to my lovely spot in Dodford. Come 6am, I could feel the rumbling of artic’s, and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Here’s a picture of the new Weedon – Upper Heyford bypass.

As you can see, it’s probably about 300 yards from my boat at it’s closest point.

Didn’t fancy sticking around. I like my beauty sleep. It wasn’t the sound either, it was the vibrations from the road, which makes it slightly worse.

I’ve cut my losses, and moved down here to Weedon.

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(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)

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Watford Locks -> Muscott

Watford Locks -> Muscott

Stopped for a couple of days above the locks at Watford.

Watford Locks - Staircase flight
Watford Locks – Staircase flight

They have a 48hr mooring and it’s fairly close to the A5.

Sound of the motorway is pretty overpowering.

Buckby Locks

After this, moved the boat down to the top of Buckby Locks next to the New Inn pub.

Was there for a day. Until my crew arrived, which this time was my Sister, Kerri and her offspring.

Offspring have grown slightly since the last time they were on the boat. Still difficult for them to manage the gates and paddles.

Even sister has a problem and she’s fully grown.

Fairly gender specific these gates and paddles, which shouldn’t be the case in 2018. What’s the world coming to eh?

Whilton/Buckby Locks restrictions

Anyway, we got through with a little help from the volunteers.

Since they have a restriction on the locks now due to the low waterlevels, Whilton now locks the bottom lock gate at around 3pm. The flight closes at 5pm.

There are no signs or indications that this is the case. And I know this because I was at top lock for more than 24 hours and there were no signs up there.

The volunteer informed us of this and that we would be fine, as we were traversing the locks, they’d open the bottom up to let us out specifically. Which was nice.

When we got to lock 5, a girl with a windlass popped up and started helping with the locks.

Didn’t really ask any questions. But she followed us down. It was only when we reached lock 6, a guy with a beard showed up and it became apparent he and his daughter had come to assist us out of the bottom of the flight at Whilton.

After that

It’s pretty much plain sailing down to Muscott, where the countryside becomes more pleasant. The sound of the motorway dissipates and the canal is lined by woodland.

Muscott
Muscott

I’m here close to the bridge.

The solar ain’t great, but other than that, it’s a nice location.

(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)

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Yelvertoft > Watford Park

Yelvertoft > Watford Park

Still on the Leicester Arm, one stop up from Watford locks.

The sound of the motorway is pretty strong round here. Apart from that, the countryside is idyllic.

I’ve got some overhanging trees and the solar ain’t great. There’s some in the afternoon but I’m currently waiting for the sun to emerge around the trees.

Here’s some pictures of the current spot.

Watford Park
Watford Park

Watford Park
Watford Park

As you can see, I’m all alone this time.

Crick Marina

Had to stop off here for some fuel, which was nice. Had a pump-out as well, the first for a 6 weeks or so. Since I left Braunston.

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(Visited 48 times, 1 visits today)

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Yelvertoft -> Winwick in the Fields

Yelvertoft -> Winwick in the Fields

Close to the winding hole. That doesn’t really tell you much. There isn’t a lot here.

4G in Yelvertoft

As you can see, it’s faster than 73% of GB in terms of connection speed which makes life nice and quite with the advantage of the internet, TV and lot’s of solar.

There’s not a lot around here.

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(Visited 33 times, 1 visits today)

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Braunston -> Yelvertoft

Braunston -> Yelvertoft

Step 1: Braunston to Watford Locks

Two flights of locks. One of them staircase locks at Watford.The other Braunston Locks. One that I’ve done a few times now.

Braunston Locks are very tiring. And I was kind of happy when I found that due to water shortages, the Watford flight closed at night when the volunteers went home.

Being staircase locks, only one boat can go through at a time. And the CRT like you to book ahead, (which I didn’t).

During the day, the CRT prefer to keep it manned. Previously, at night, they let the public traverse the locks as they wished. Due to water shortages, this practice stopped, and passing through the flight is only possible with the aid of the lock-keeper.

I woke up around eight, and got going just before nine. Entering the first lock at 8.50am. Luckily, they are good and fast and I made it through the whole flight in around an hour. Apart from my button getting stuck under the gates at the top lock, all went without event, and I set off on my way again.

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(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)

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Flecknoe -> Braunston

Flecknoe -> Braunston

People do moor in-between, but there’s no road access, so it’s useless to me.

Fairly picturesque and popular.

Old Braunston

At the moment, I’m at Braunston, ancient Bargee village.

All things barge are here, chandlers x 3. Marina x 1. Canalside pubs x2. And some other shops and services connected to the trade.

I was moored here for the winter on the Rugby arm.

This time I’m on Oxford arm.

There’s no piling and I’m moored up on pins but it’s a much better mooring for a number of reasons.

Not least because:

  • The towpath isn’t overgrow. On the Rugby arm, the trees hang down and you have to crouch to pass them. This is for about 20-25 yards.
  • The trees don’t overhang. They stand up straight, not grow up over my solar and cast shade over the boat.
  • Parking is better. Not on the A45 which you have to cross daily.
  • Quicker into town. Not by much, but a shorter walk into Braunston.

Mooring in Braunston
Mooring in Braunston

Views are better.

Got a better all over ambiance certainly compared to mooring on the Rugby arm, but also in toward the village. It’s nicer here because you’re out in the country.

Will have to turn Bonnie round in due course, as she’s pointing in the wrong direction.

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(Visited 45 times, 1 visits today)

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