Only spent 2 nights in Stoke Bruerne. The rest was over the Christmas period during which I was out visiting people.
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.
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.
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.
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. …
Stopped for a couple of days above the locks at Watford.
They have a 48hr mooring and it’s fairly close to the A5.
Sound of the motorway is pretty overpowering.
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.
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.
I’m here close to the bridge.
The solar ain’t great, but other than that, it’s a nice location.
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. …