We awoke to find thick frost on the boat, but, thankfully, no ice in the cut. There was some thin ice in one or two pounds later, but nothing to write home about.
At 10.00 we walked down to Kathryn's cottage where we had a guided tour of her fascinating abode. As we were just about to have coffee there was a ring on the doorbell: Adam and Adrian had, not entirely unexpectedly, come as well. Thanks Kathryn, it was good to chat.
We set off down the Stoke Bruerne locks with Briar Rose, but I didn't spend much time with our boats as I was helping a boat (Division Bell) going down in front of us. The couple on board had just bought it from Whilton Marina; these were their first ever locks. I hope I was able to instil in them a few lock operating tips - they were grateful for my assistance and advice.
At the bottom we stopped for lunch. I just got our invitation to Adam and Adrian in before they returned it, but we ended up as their guests anyway. I can report that Adrian's ham was delicious; and so were Adam's mince pies.
The sun was low and ahead of us for the next bit of cruising, but there were enough bends for that not to be a problem. Just before Bridge 63 we stopped to tidy up a large branch which had fallen half on the towpath and half in the canal. I spent a good three hours sawing it up and pulling it out of the water. It got dark half-way through the operation, so the head torch came in very useful. I was certainly ready for tea when I'd done all I could: we now have a replenished log supply in the well deck. For pictures see my post of a few days ago (or a year ago) - it will look remarkably similar. Even the location was about the same.
So we're here for the night, and the wind has started getting up. Tomorrow we'll either go on three miles to Wolverton or, if the weather is too grotty, we'll swing in to the marina which is just half a mile away.
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