Almost Summer . .

Another gorgeous day – even slapped on some sunscreen! We did some chores – Viv cleaned the oak floors and I greased me nipple (again), the water jacket that is our stern gland was leaking ever so slightly on our trip out. I noticed a small red mark, which turned out not to be a red mark but a small red washer that I must have left out when adding grease and re-seating. So, head first down the engine hatch, unscrew the bolt, feed it a bit of grease, add washer, re-insert the bolt. I also squidged some gooey, black bitumen paint over some of the war wounds the boat somehow acquired … sharing locks, tunnel bashing etc.  Then it was time to walk to lock 3 and the Admiral Nelson:

A wonderful watering hole that does food and serves 3 or 4 real ales too. A tad pricey (£12 for a  8 oz Buffalo burger  with chips and slaw) but the beer was good (Thwaites Wainwright & Ubu Purity). Food served was great & tasty but very pretentious, I just wish they’d serve it on a plate: (look at this and then listen to John Finnemore’s song):

We then bimbled back to the boat via the town and the marvellous butchers – bought some dry cured bacon (”It’s ALL dry cured” the lady said!) and some mince.  Back on the very busy canal we met some aliens – can you guess the name of this boat:

Yes, you guessed correctly: Klingon

Still, it was a nice mooring apart from two things: there’s a nasty stone ledge aaaaalllllllllll the way along this stretch which means you can’t moor close to the bank and you then bump all the time when boats move you in passing (and yes, only 2 in 10 pass at tick over!) or just the wind. Toby does not like bumps and will jump off the boat! Poor, big scaredy dog.

Off to buy stuff at Midland Chandlers tomorrow as it’s their Freaky Friday with 20% off everything and we need a new grate for the stove:

Six months of continuous use has worn it out! Oh to be somewhere warm next winter!

Spring is Sprung

With a good forecast, at last, for the next 5 days or more, we decided to stop fretting about our house – sell or rent? And sally forth out onto the cut. We planned to turn left this time and brave the two long tunnels plus the Watford flight and the Braunston six!  Surprisingly no traffic and the lock keeper at Watford saw us thru in record time. A sunny view over Cracks Hill.

A cold start with some frost but it soon turned into a glorious day with the lambs: they skip & play.

We travelled in convoy with Len & Sue, travelling on to their new marina at Welton. We wish them well and will see them at Watford locks again as they are both volunteer lock keepers.

Braunston was busy and lots of boaters were coming up the locks. We met up with “Ruby Tuesday” – two lads doing the Leicester ring. Always easier with two boats – both in the locking and also preventing us bouncing about in the wide locks.

One plan was to moor in the town area – access to the pubs/chandlers/pubs/butchers/pubs etc but alas, no room at all so we headed out (this was Plan A all along) on the G.U. to Braunston Puddle Banks and moored up. Ah, peace & quiet and yet still within walking distance of the town.  That’ll do nicely.