Friday, 31 August 2012

Narrowboat Laplander steams past, and I cut some logs

As a bonus to all the historic boats we've seen over the last few days, steamer Laplander came up behind us as we came down the Coventry canal and turned onto the Oxford at Hawkesbury Junction.

Jan said, "Do you think they know they're going backwards?"

With the front doors looking like back doors you can see what she means.

At first glance it looks as though the boy is steering the boat under the junction bridge. But no: Laplander has just made the turn and is coming up behind Shadow to queue for the stop lock.

As with all old boats, seemingly, Laplander had a good turn of speed. Or was it that the steam engine is not so easily controlled? (Or do we go too slowly?) Anyway, the steamer soon made up the few minutes lost in the stop lock and was on our tail again. I pulled over and waved them on, and took these photos as they passed.

This is what the stern really looks like.

At Stretton Stop they turned into the arm to have some work done on the boat. So that's why they were going in the wrong direction for Shackerstone.

We stopped as planned to explore the village of Harborough Magna, tying up by Bridge 43. This was at the exact spot where a tree was blocking the towpath a few days ago. Now the towpath was clear, but there was still a good load of logs to be had. I got the bowsaw out and set to work for about an hour. I'll give the logs to Ally and Ben - they were cold on Jubilee this morning!

Now we're at Hillmorton, just below the locks and in wonderful earshot of trains speeding over a section of non-continuous welded track, ready to return Shadow to Wigram's Turn tomorrow.

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