Thursday 25th September – Yelvers!

The final day of the holiday/adventure which comes to a close as we head for Yelvertoft marina. According to their flyer it’s “the place to be”. First we leave at 0815 from Braunston and head up thru the Braunston locks and the tunnel (over a mile long!!) Firstly the charming village, with an odd church tower . .

the “high street” – decent butchers and more beer & wine from the supermarket

Charming canal shop, chandlers and bottom lock

We were lucky to share these broad locks with another boat – crewed by some senior citizens (80’s and 70’s!). Wonderful cheery folk. Simon introduced me to going into locks side by side … interesting!

Here’s “Si” and his boat – designed by himself!

Just beyond the flight of locks is a LONG tunnel – over a mile!

Hmm, feels really creepy being underground but in a boat and then another boat comes towards you … !

Another junction – Norton Junction – here we leave the main Grand Union and the broad canal and locks and head off towards on the Leicester branch. A tight turn and one of the smallest welcome signs…

A flight of 7 locks with the middle 4 being in a staircase – where one lock leads into the next, the top gates of one lock form the bottom of the next, oh, look at the photos …so one boat at a time! We had an hour’s wait here as they do 6 down then 6 up . . it was a nice spot and helped by lock keepers and volunteers.

I got 9/10 for my drive into the lock above! They also said they weren’t impressed by my lunch (Viv had left some dried slices of bread on the roof for the ducks!).

You see … staircase locks . . a bit dark and gloooomy for the driver.

And another tunnel! A wet one with drips …  reminds me of the old ghost train rides. Viv had a go at driving this one – it is very odd – feels like you’ve got sunglasses on  – there’s a lack of perspective and then another boat comes towards you . .  panic!!!

And out into the sunny, middle-of-nowhere, which is the pleasure of most British canals! And one big reason we’re planning to move up here.

Hey, hey and here we are – Yelvertoft Marina:

Time to moor at the service station and have a pump out, re-fuel (hmm, 180 litres of diesel) and then try to drive over to our slot – B2 and reverse in … in the cross-wind …

And here we are. Lots of heads popped up and folk came out to help us moor – thanks guys – especially Nick – our new neighbour. A long day:11 miles and 13 locks. We left at 0815 and tied up around 1815. So a few beers and a chorizo & chickpea stew is on the stove … journey’s end and an early night. Thanks Jenny in the marina office for a great welcome!

Thank You for following us. We’re staying here a few days (work on Monday Viv!) A great little adventure … and only just the beginning.