Wildlife of the day – The Fotheringhay green woodpeckers. We’ve seen more today than in a year at home and we have some nesting there!
Weather – Bah humbug Grey with a chilly wind causing more hassle.
As we left Ashton cut a boat had just arrived at the lock landing; goody a share. Wrong! I prepped the lock whilst Graham reversed Jannock out of the mooring. Older chap took his boat into the lock, younger chap helped me. His dad (on the boat) said he was a squaddie on leave. I was impressed with his battle fitness as he took no time at all to raise a paddle. Both boats were in and Graham went down to raise the guillotine gate. Deja vous as the tiller thumped me again as the rudder was forced over by the water rushing in through the still open paddle. Squaddie had managed about 1/4 open whilst impressing me and then carried on opening it when it was time to close them again. Orders were barked, he can at least take orders. At the next lock I got Jannock in, despite the wind, but older chap got in a real pickle and ended up across the river with a tendency towards the direction from whence he had come. That was the point he decided he was giving up and returning. Squaddie was having a muddlesome time throwing me knitting thinly described as rope but he eventually made their boat safe, pointing back up-stream, so that older chap could walk the dogs. His dogs were attached to frayed poly rope and out of control. The rope got wrapped around Graham’s leg at one point and he has rope burn now. It seems that older chap has spent three years fitting out his boat and it went into the water for the first time this morning. It seems he took none of that time to actually try boating and acquire some skill. I decided that the Army is a safer place this week, because a certain squaddie is on leave.
Later we caught up with nb Great Escape and spent the rest of the day and the locks with them. Their experience was very handy in the increasing wind. Moorings being few and far between, unless you are happy to pay £4 at Fotheringhay – no wonder Mary Queen of Scots lost her head – we found one boats length free at Warnsford Station pontoon and so moored up two abreast just in time for the gents to get excited about seeing the last train of the day puff past.
There have been many lovely churches to see from the river over the last couple of days.