Monday, October 11, 2010

Onward and Southward

Saturday 9th October

A late-ish start due to Brenda still recovering from various lurgs and inoculations during the past week found us setting off from Banbury Road bridge at 11 am with a grey overcast sky and occasional drizzle. Not at all what was forecast by our Met office friends. Into Blisworth tunnel at 12:15 and we met three northbound boats within. The middle one of the three had a 'searchlight' like headlight aimed straight ahead along the tunnel. As we approached each other I found that I could not see a thing ahead and the beam was painful to look at so I stopped and waited for him to pass whilst I kept my eyes averted from ahead.Once the lamp had passed me by I made comment to the steerer that he ought to aim his searchlight up towards the roof and not straight ahead. We passed down through Stoke Bruerne solo as there was no one behind us in the tunnel and no boats about to set off from the moorings to go down. Below the flight there is a BW notice that reads " Slow down passed moored boats" - shame they didn't check the spelling before manufacturing the sign. We pulled over near Grafton Regis to harvest some of the abundant Elderberries there - we fancy making some Elderberry whisky this year ;^)  On to Cosgrove through greyer and colder weather finally mooring up below the lock just three boats away from nb Wyrd with Trevor aboard. A mini-GiG was in order and a very pleasant evening was spent before we finally gave in at just after midnight.

Sunday 10th October (10-10-10 a very auspicious day if you are Chinese)

I got up and set off in the cold grey gloom just before 9am whilst Brenda languished abed under a warm cosy duvet. Just after midday the sun came out, as we made our way down through Milton Keynes, and the blue skies warmed us body & soul. This was supposed to be what was forecast for yesterday so we've missed out. After Bletchley we were trying to decide on our final mooring place when we were joined in Stoke Hammond lock by a boat crewed by thirty-something liveaboards with a penchant for pirate-noir decor. Whilst locking up, Brenda asked the steerer if they were going up Soulbury locks. His reply was " we don't go that far, we usually moor in Milton Keynes but feel we need a few days out of the city".  I walked ahead and measured a suitable gap between the last moored boat and the first fishing peg so Brenda eased Jannock in with very little disturbance to his swim. As the other boat passed us and the fishing match she called back to the steerer from the bows with " Oh no, an effin fishing match - this would have been effin perfect for us" They moved on a few yards and she called again "we'll just moor up here, these blokes look friendly, they effin won't mind". Luckily he didn't feel the need to ruin 2 or 3 blokes days fishing with less than an hour to go until the end of the match. They carried on up the cut with just her swearing being carried on the balmy breeze. Are live-aboards necessarily boaters?  Discuss.

Note to Brian and Ian :- the bloke fishing next to Jannock caught 4 lb 1oz of fish and he was no-where near the top of the leader board. There are fish in the G.U.

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