Monday, 29 September 2008

Norton to Braunston

We had moored below the top lock at Norton so only had the one lock to do before we could water etc. All domestic things completed we set off for the run down to Braunston. Just as we were pulling away from the quay another boat began to pull out just ahead of us. Since we always say we should not be in a rush we hung back and let them go ahead...what a mistake!! They turned left at the junction as we were doing and proceeded to go at less than snails pace. It wasn't too bad in the open but Geoff was very frustrated in Braunston tunnel. We passed no less than 6 boats going the other way and the boat in front was almost going in reverse each time he passed one. A tunnel trip that should have taken 20 mins took over 1/2 hour. Since I always go below on these occasions and pretend I am somewhere else I was not impressed.
We then shared the four locks down as far as the Admiral Nelson which was at least company in the locks.....they were a hire boat so felt we had to forgive!

We moored up in our favourite spot for the weekend. The weather still being reasonably good to us.

We went to Braunston Church for their 11 o'clock communion. There were a couple of people who lived locally who had narrow boats. They both kept them at Ventnor Farm marina which is where we had originally been going to house Petroc for the winter. They both said how the charges had gone up since the marina had changed hands and now belonged to a consortium.

We had hoped to have friends Fran & Keith with us for Sunday lunch in the Admiral Nelson but Keith was unfortunately taken into hospital on Saturday. We therefore dined alone. We managed to find a table outside right by the lock and enjoyed an excellent lunch in sunshine.

Today, Monday, we went down the last two locks and went into Darren's new workshop adjacent to Braunston Marina. We were able to go right into his covered dock to have one or two little things sorted out for us. Whilst they were being done we walked up to the village for a final shop. We had to have a last visit to the excellent butcher there. We had two of his pork chops on Saturday and had to treat ourselves again.

All was finished late morning and we edged our way out again and then seemed to meet every boat on the waterway as we tried to get to the watering point. Braunston has been very busy over the weekend, obviously the better weather has attracted people out. In fact in the last couple of weeks we have seen much busier canals than all summer.

Once watered we left Braunston behind and looked for the first decent mooring place in the open. We did not have to go far and the picture below shows the view from Petroc on what will be our last mooring before going back into Clifton on Wednesday. Very sad that this years cruising has come to an end and hard to believe that nearly 6 months has gone by since we set out.

There will one more post on this blog before we wrap up for the winter.

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