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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Away from it all

Gill, Toni the daughter, and I have just spent a week aboard our shared narrow boat getting away from it all, we took a leisurely one week trip from Gayton Junction on the Grand Union Main Line Canal to Norton Junction, then up the Watford Staircase flight and up the lonely and picturesque Leicester Section of the Grand Union Canal as far as Welford Junction. It was cold, to be expected in November, but we had some very nice sunny days on this secluded waterway which wends it way from Watford Junction towards Market Harborough, then Leicester, the only signs of modern hectic life being the M1 crossing at Watford Gap and the A14 crossing further up about 5 miles from M1/M6 junction. The canal only passes a few villages and is a haven for wildlife, particulary Kingfishers, I spotted lots that would fly in front of the boat, perch on a branch or reed, then when we where level would take off and repeat, too fast for my camera work though. In winter the canal is little used by other boats.

Cold and frosty morning at Buckby Locks.

In the wide locks at Buckby, no other boat to share with makes locking a little harder.

Gill steering between the 7 locks at Buckby.

The Watford Staircase Locks, 4 narrow locks one on top of each other.

In Lock 3 of the Narrow staircase locks.

Reflections on the Leicester section of Grand Union Canal.

More reflections on a sunny, crisp day.

Lovely winter colours.

The following couple of days where Foggy in the mornings, eventually burning off into sunny days, makes for some interesting steering.

Poor visibility needs a good lookout to spot other boats.

Just spotted the light on this oncoming boat in time to avoid a collision.

Fog starting to lift.

Clear skies on a winters day.

Original milepost from when the canal was
called the Grand Junction Canal Company, we turned
back a few miles further towards Leicester.

Overcast the next day, the canal loops around Cracks Hill
near Crick adding around 2 miles to the journey, sign of a
James Brindley built canal, he followed the contours of the
land rather than dig cuttings or build embankments.

Sunny the next day, on the home straight back to Gayton Marina.
We enjoyed a good relaxing week, with some nice weather, in the cold winter evenings we where nice and snug with the solid fuel stove going full blast, with no pubs or restaurant's within easy reach on this secluded stretch of canal we took turns to produce nice meals aboard and sank a few bottle of wine. No problems with the boat to deal with other than prop and rudder picking up fallen leaves, a regular blast in reverse clears these. Back to reality and work now!

TR7 wise the Master Cylinder of the Blue FHC is ready for collection from Past Parts Ltd, but not had a chance to pick it up, I also heard from the axle repairers that the crown wheel and pinion from the Gold DHC are quite worn and need replacing, luckily I have sourced a good 3:45 ratio crown wheel and pinion that is being sent to them.

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