Monday, 2 September 2013

Onward from Foxton and yet another tunnel

Up with the lark this morning (as opposed to crack of sparrows!) and on the watering point by 7am.   We then had a wait for the lock-keeper as he doesn't start until 8.    However it left plenty of time for chatting with the other waiting boats....behind us......
One was Osiris (can't spell it) which turned out to be a shared boat also mooring at our home mooring at Clifton Cruisers...they had only been there since March and were probably out cruising when we were there.
The third boat was Perentis.  I had seen her moored when I took Barney for his last walk last night and since she must have passed where we were moored and had not hailed us I had concluded, correctly, that it was not our friends Dick & Jill on board.  However the friends of theirs who were aboard said they were doing a swap in Market Harborough and then would be heading in the same direction as us, so maybe we will meet up at some stage.
0805 saw us start on the descent of the Foxton Locks on a lovely sunny (chilly - 3 layers required) morning.
The lock-keeper clears some weed before we start
Barney is not a happy dog.....he always assists Geoff with the locks and is as good as gold but there is a strict rule at Foxton about dogs on leads so he had to stay aboard....

If you look behind the gates can look quite forbidding.
Have the locks really been here that long?
Geoff & I swapped roles half way down, it is not often the gates and paddles are easy enough for me to do.  Foxton are very well looked after.
Geoff unusually at the helm going down the second 5 locks.......
I tend to wind the paddles a little slower than Geoff!!
50 minutes from top to bottom was not bad going.   We didn't even have to stop to empty the loo as Geoff wheeled it down whilst we were waiting.
To get out of the bottom lock I almost needed a boat that bent in the middle as a boat was moored extremely close up.........nevertheless no mishaps.....
Soon after leaving the Foxton area we see this sign
So it was a slow ride.......but hey....the sun was shining.....
Lots of area like this
John on Epiphany was leading....
So he was first into Saddleworth tunnel.
This is the 4th tunnel since we have been travelling with Epiphany.......thankfully they are getting shorter...
Braunston  2042 yards
Crick         1528 yards
Husbands Bosworth     1170 yards
and finally Saddleworth   881 yards
I don't think we have any more until we are nearly back at Clifton and have Newbold tunnel.....but  even I might just have a go at that one.....(Maybe)
We passed this field with a huge manure pile.......should be worth a pretty penny for someones roses....
Rural Idyll
Just imagine being on the canals then

 Next we had 5 broad locks so lovely to be travelling in company

Petroc coming out of the first broad lock of the day

An ever patient Barney waits for Geoff who is on the other side.
Good crew
Wait for was a little breezy!
After a lazy afternoon we had a wonderful early evening walk across the fields to Wistow church.

Very old grave stones with the inscriptions very hard to read
Photos of Petroc and the videos courtesy of NB Epiphany

The church appears to be in the middle of nowhere but when you reach it there is a road a little distance away.   The grounds are beautifully tended.  Unfortunately it was locked (only to be expected in the evening) so we could not view the inside.
Total distance:7.45 miles 
Elapsed time:5h40m32s 
Average speed:1.31 mph (4.13 lock/mph) 

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