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Thursday, 14 April 2016

April Cruise

The first week in April saw Gill and I head to the new location of NB Centurion, the boat is now at Welton Hythe Marina near the junction of the Grand Union Main line and Grand Union Leicester line. We have previously hired from Weltonfield Narrowboats here, a boat named NB Cressy been the boat hired the most by us, the best and well fitted hire boats we have ever used.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, after shopping and various tasks we moved the boat from the Marina to the towpath to await friends on Sunday morning.
The following morning our friend's arrived, we did a quick car run to leave their car at Crick Marina, then set off for Watford locks after a round of bacon butties.
We soon reached Watford locks, there was a small queue, just a 20 minute wait, then we where away up the locks.
Watford Staircase Locks
Richard and Lou on the tiller.
Leaving the locks we let Richard steer through Crick Tunnel then on Yelvertoft, before we winded and moored at Crick for a late lunch.
View towards Cracks Hill near Crick.
After lunch our guests departed back to Suffolk and we winded again and moored near Cracks Hill for the night.
Mooring for the night.
On the Monday we cruised slowly on to Yelvertoft, filling the water tank there, then on to Welford Junction to wind and have lunch, another favourite mooring of ours.
Passed by a lovely tug style boat.
Welford Junction
We started heading back towards Crick, still some weak sunshine, but no rain yet, We moored overnight after bridge 28 near Elkington when the rain arrived, a quieter mooring would be hard to find, not even dog walkers around. Just the sound of the birds, and owls later at night.
Lovely mooring near Elkington.
Tuesday we headed back through Crick and the Tunnel, then down Watford locks to moor overnight outside Welton Hythe Marina, we where waiting for Gills brother Pete and partner Shani to arrive.
Near Yelvertoft.
Blue sky at Cracks Hill Bridge.
Crick Tunnel.
Watford Staircase Locks.
Our guests eventually arrived at 9pm Tuesday night, so after a quick catch up it was off to bed.
On Wednesday we set of the short distance to Norton Junction, turned left onto the Grand Union and headed down Buckby locks, no lock Buddy's about so we took a little longer to descend the 7 locks onto the Blisworth pound. Was a little overcast in the morning as we descend the locks.
Buckby top lock, Gill showing Pete and Shani how to operate the locks.
Spotted Maffi at Buckby Wharf, did not get to speak.
Somersault signal in garden at Buckby.
Pete, Gill, and Shani getting in to the swing of it at Buckby lock 9.
We moored on Weedon embankment for lunch where shortly after the weather changed, the wind got up and squally showers came over occasionally.
Another blogger spotted near Gayton, NB Rock and Roll.
We carried on in the wind, which also included a couple of hail storms, then took on water at Gayton junction before going through Blisworth Tunnel to moor at Stoke Bruerne for the evening. As usual towards the end of the day we had some sun and the wind died down. Had a good meal at Stoke Bruerne followed by a scrabble evening which turned very competitive between brother and sister and did not end until late!
Blisworth Mill.
Early evening sun at Stoke Bruerne visitor moorings.
After the usual bacon butties on Thursday morning we wandered up for a look around the museum, top lock area and village, before reversing to the winding hole near Blisworth Tunnel entrance, winding, before Pete and I cruised through the tunnel whilst the girls walked over the top via the woodland walks.
We had to wait for them to catch up at the Blisworth end of the tunnel.
Blisworth Tunnel.
Blisworth Mill.
Another bloggers boat, NB Sickle at High House
We took on water at Stowe Hill, moored nearby where bloggers Muleless and Maffi.
NB Muleless.
We carried on, accompanied by the West Coast main line and the frequent Pendolino's and eventually moored in more windy conditions near Brockhall, nicely shielded by the cutting and trees from the noisy railway and nearby M1.
Brockhall mooring, stove lit, dinner on, perfect.
Friday morning we set off leisurely back to Welton Hythe, just a short cruise to Whilton, then the 7 Buckby locks, before mooring for a latish lunch in the re-opened New Inn at Buckby top lock, a decent simple menu and value for money. We spotted the lovely blogging boat NB Achenar in the top lock.
Nice to see Jules Fuels delivering coal to the nearby cottages at Whilton.
NB Achenar.
We headed back to Welton Hythe where we filled with diesel, emptied the nasties, then took our berth before saying goodbye to Pete and Shani. Gill and I then spent the early evening packing, before a quiet evening on our own.
Saturday morning was the usual cleaning, Brass polishing, and getting ready for the next owners before the drive home to Norfolk.
Cleaned and Ready.
Newly fitted smart gauge, good to see it at this state at the end of most days.
Can now keep a check on our daughters electricity use when she brings her gadgets and playstation to watch films, gaming, etc. That will cheese her off.