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Friday, 16 September 2016

September 2016 Cruise

In the 2nd week in September we had another week on NB Centurion, just Gill and I this time, we arrived mid day at Welton Hythe Marina in light rain, after unloading, and with no sign of the drizzle easing we decided to chance Watford Locks. The drizzle was on and off through the locks.
Waiting for the staircase.
We moored a couple of bridges after the lock,away from the noise of the M1 at one of our favourite spots, the promise of a better Sunday showed in the sky.
Brightening up in the evening.
On the Sunday, well fed with a cooked breakfast we meandered on through Crick Tunnel, past Yelvertoft. Although warm, we did not have the promised sun, After lunch at Welford Junction we went through Husbands Bosworth Tunnel and on past Laughton Hills to moor a few bridges before Foxton Locks. After dinner we had a walk along to the locks and the inclined plane.
Approach cutting to Husbands Bosworth Tunnel.
Cruising near Laughton Hills
Laughton Hills.
We had rain overnight, it had cleared by Monday morning, but still dull with cloud cover. We dropped down the locks before turning left to Debdale Marina to have the repaired cratch boards fitted, only an hours job.
Foxton Top Lock.
We turned at Debdale, back towards Foxton and on to the Market Harborough Arm, the arm is quite narrow, with many reedy sections, requiring a sharp lookout for oncoming boats.
Reedy section on the way to Market Harborough.
Repaired Cratch.
We wandered into Market Harborough for a coffee and cake before returning for dinner.
Tuesday we again went into Market Harborough, a Costa Mocha was calling along with some lunch from a nice Deli near the town square. The Market was not as we remembered, quite small now, Gill managed to find a few cake supply and kitchen ware shops for what seemed liked a very long browse!
Returning to the boat after lunch we set off only to be stopped at the first bridge by a fallen tree, around 5 boats where held up, Canal and River Trust where just clearing the last remains of this.
Union Wharf, Market Harborough.
Old Grammar School - Market Harborough.
Nice TR7 in for MOT - Market Harborough.
Stoppage for Fallen tree.
CRT winching out the last branches of the fallen willow.
We cruised on in increasingly brighter weather to moor at the bottom of Foxton locks.
Heading for Foxton.
Foxton.
After a pleasant evening at Foxton, Wednesday dawned fine and sunny, we ascended the locks, there must have been around 10 volunteer lockies today, mostly painting and gardening, we had a bit of a wait however 4 in front of us waiting to go up and 5 coming down. The lockies only worked by setting the bottom ,middle, and top locks though.
Gill on the tiller at Foxton.
Andy resting at Foxton.
We carried on after taking water at the top, past the Loughton Hills, through Husbands Bosworth tunnel to moor at the popular Welford Junction. Lots of boats here tonight.
Welford Junction.
After a nice evening meal, then a circular walk around the area we retired early to bed.
Thursday we awoke to another sunny day, breakfast over, we reversed back to the junction and took the Welford arm, narrow and overgrown, up the single lock to Welford where we moored for water and rubbish disposal and a quick look around the Lime Kilns and wharf area.
Welford Wharf.
Welford Locks.
Welford Arm.
We carried on past the A14 crossing, on to Yelvertoft in great weather to moor at Crick, opposite the Marina. We took a walk up to the Millennium Woods, up Cracks Hill, and back down through Crick Parkland back to the boat for dinner.
Crick Millenium Woods.
View from Cracks Hill.
Cracks Hill.
Gill descending Cracks Hills.
Friday morning was sunny, after another fry up breakfast we set of for Crick tunnel, passing a few boats on the way through without any problems. We had a short wait at Watford locks whilst boats came up the flight then descended without the help of any volunteers.
Leaky Gates
Decending Watford Locks
Gill working hard.
We then had a short run up to Welton Hythe Marina to service the boat, diesel, pump out, etc, before reversing to the mooring. It was owner service week so all fluids where checked, belts checked, hoses checked, nothing that we don't do during the week anyway. Before cleaning and packing up we took a short drive to Long Buckby and the Heart of the Shires craft and shops where we had a nice light lunch and drinks. After an afternoon spent cleaning and polishing the brass we went down to the New Inn for dinner, just the normal pub grub at a reasonable price.
Overnight it rained which ruined the previous days polishing, but at least it was clean. Then it was the journey back to Norfolk in driving rain.
Really enjoyed the week, we went at a slow pace with no real itinerary and had reasonable weather.

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