Our long cruise of 2016 has started. We left Thrupp Wharf Marina at about midday and headed north on the Grand Union. We have booked in for hull blacking at Debdale Wharf Marina next Monday, so we have a week's gentle cruising to get there. After the blacking we don't have a plan, just one or two thoughts about possible destinations. We'll see what happens.
En route today Ally, Ben and Josiah joined us from Yardley Wharf to Stoke Bruerne. Josiah tried steering but quite understandably had his eyes tightly closed.
As we pulled in for the services at Stoke Bruerne Bottom Lock Dane and Clara entered the lock.
We enjoyed a good meal in the Navigation (pork steaks (me) and beef 'n' ale pie (Jan) and said goodbye to the Wolverton clan who drove home. (To complete the picture Ben had a burger and Ally had fish and chips.)
Half-way up the flight it had begun to rain lightly, gradually getting heavier as we tied up just past the disabled mooring beyond Sculptor and the trip boat. I had forgotten (if I ever knew) about the underwater shelf on this particular mooring, but the bonglers* sorted that minor problem out.
* Sarah's word for go-kart tyres or similar which provide a fatter side fender when the usual pipe fender is not sufficient
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