Monday, 7 April 2014

Easter 2014 cruise: Thrupp Wharf to Stoke Bruerne

It's great to be back on board! Ally joined us in the morning, and we set off at 1030. We enjoyed seeing the lambs with their mothers in the fields. One lamb was so excited at seeing us that he managed to get through the electric fence onto the narrow strip of grass right by the water's edge. Fortunately mum called, and he returned to recommence suckling.

At Stoke Bruerne bottom lock we took on water, then I moved over to the fuel boat (J&E Cook) for 30 litres of diesel. After paying I reversed back to the 24 hour mooring (or is it 48?) where we had lunch. Jan had been cooking a gammon joint, filling the boat with lovely smells - we had slices of that with salad.

After lunch I cycled back down the A508, with its thundering HGVs, to the marina to get Ally's car. With the bike in the boot I drove to Stoke Bruerne, parked in the Navigation car park (I checked it was all right to do so), and cycled down the locks to the boat. The round trip had taken an hour.

Just as I was putting the bike on board I realised that a boat was just about to go up the bottom lock. I ran to the lock and asked if we could share. He must have been pleased as he was single-handing and I was doing all the lock wheeling. A Welshman on Cwch y Dewin (Magician's (or Wizard's) Boat). He had three Jack Russells charging about the place; one more under the pram hood; and a litter of six puppies inside, he told me!

Well, we whizzed up the flight (Cwch y Dewin stopped on the Long Pound), and saw Kathryn of Leo No. 2 heading to lower the Union Flag from the flag pole she'd been instrumental in restoring. We invited her to join us for a cup of tea on board: she came at 5 pm and we had a good chat.

Ally and Kathryn went at the same time; we listened to a bit of Radio 4; then we went to the Navigation for a meal. We had the 2 meals for £10 deal, and it was excellent. I had steak and ale pie with very good vegetables and new potatoes; Jan had plaice and chips. Next to our table were two women finishing their meal whom we got talking to - about boating, of course!

Kathryn told us that a widebeam was going through the tunnel at 8.00 in the morning, about the time we need to be on the move. It shouldn't affect us, though, as we're going the same way. We'll see what happens.


Neil Corbett said...

I hope you remembered your raincoat in the tunnel!

Halfie said...

But of course! It was actually much drier than two weeks ago - or am I just getting used to it? Only one major deluge, from a ventilation shaft near the north end, which I was able to steer round.