Saturday 9th May
We arrived at Jannock for 09:00 and started preparing to set off. It seems funny starting a Soddit cruise on a Saturday morning as we have mostly started on Friday night for too many years to remember. We ascended through Cosgrove lock after a wide beam had come down through it. We then pulled over onto the wharf above the lock to move the rest of our ‘stuff’ from the car, thus avoiding a repeat of the long walk carrying. Once loaded we set off Northbound towards Stoke Bruerne. We had no tight schedules to keep to so it was decided that this could be a relaxing cruise with a bit more fishing time (the Captain had a few jobs to do on Jannock ;^)
We decided to have lunch before we ascended the Stoke Bruerne flight and so we moored on the 14 day moorings at the bottom where Ian managed to catch five roach of various sizes. Brian did lunch of a Ploughman’s type meal and we were just thinking of setting off when a Wyvern boat with a crew of six happened along and so we shared the flight with them. It was a birthday celebration seven day cruise of five males and one female, it reminded me of when Brenda and I took our first ever holiday on a canal boat, she was vastly outnumbered on that trip. Just look what it’s done to us! We shared with them all the way up with the two boats moving from lock to lock, side by side, just like professionals. Brian and Ian took turns to set the next lock so it was ready when we left the last. Out of the top lock, in the land of the Gongoozler, and we pulled over on to the water point outside the Boat Inn. Whilst Jannock’s tank filled, we did likewise from the hand-pumps on the bar. Ian was disappointed that they were a free house but only did Marston’s beers. Not good considering the other pub in Stoke Bruerne is a Marston’s tied house.
We then entered the south portal of Blisworth tunnel, only to be struck quite hard by a southbound time share boat who refused to move over to his side of the canal. Even though I had almost stopped he still clouted us a hefty wallop. We managed to pass five more boats whilst transiting through without any further incidents. Brian was once again playing rousing music like ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘the Dam Busters march’ loudly on Jannock’s stereo for the length of the tunnel much to the amusement of boats heading South. It’s not often you get applauded by the crew of a passing boat in a tunnel. Once out of the other end we decided to moor for the night in the cutting as it promised to be a lovely quiet spot and wind free spot with a possibility of some good fishing. Our lock sharing friends passed us an hour later having eaten in the Boat Inn first. Only a single Perch caught by Ian tonight, Brian is not having a good trip fishing wise. After a ‘two pan’ stir fry (bit of a record for Ian, only making two pans dirty) we played four games of Soddit before retiring to bed just after midnight.
Sunday 10th May
After a quiet night, apart from the dawn chorus, it was decided to move off as soon as breakfast was finished to seek better fishing. The weather was overcast and the wind was gusting well making it interesting for the steerer when you passed gaps in the hedge. Just after Blisworth we watched a Heron take a big fish from the water and then carry it onto the towpath. Here he put it down, to flap around a bit, while he composed himself ready to carry it off somewhere safer in order to consume it in peace. We continued on past the Northampton Arm until we stopped in a patch of sheltered calm water to try the fishing there. Nothing was forthcoming and so we were soon moving again. We past our lock sharers from yesterday, moored up with all the curtains closed and no sign of life. We greeted them by repeatedly sounding our horn as we passed because they should be up and about at 11:30, not lounging in their pits.
On through Bugbrooke until the guys decided they had spotted a good fishing place to stop at for lunch. It was just past Heyford Fields marina by the Badger Sett. Ian caught a nice Bream here whilst I was preparing lunch. After we had eaten they continued maggot drowning without success whilst I check the electrolyte level in each of the cells in our four batteries. Once they had got bored we set off again heading towards Weedon. We finally stopped on a 14 day mooring and I went to fetch the car from Cosgrove while they cleaned and tidied the boat before trying more maggot drowning. Over the weekend Ian caught eight fish (three species) and Brian caught nowt. I wouldn’t mind but he says he enjoys fishing.