Posts Tagged ‘north oxford’

Day 46 – Brinklow to Napton on the Hill

Saturday 8 August, 2009

We headed to Newbold on Avon after an oil change, hopefully the last of the voyage. Here we met Chris Griggs and Nick Balderson who were to join us for the remainder of our trip. We watered, dumped rubbish and recycled numerous empty bottles before the four of us moved on south through Rugby to Hillmorton Locks.

Tardebigge entered the bottom lock shortly after a hire boat had entered the adjacent paired lock. We almost instantly overtook them and made good progress to the top of the three locks. For several days we have been following Yalding around. Michael chatted with them at the top lock and we passed them at Braunston for the last time. They were heading to Calcutt but we carried on to Napton. A message was relayed to Nisha beyond Braunston that Yalding was on its way.

After a failed attempt to stop at a pub for a lunchtime beer (due to lack of mooring opportunities) we drank onboard and lunched on the move. We passed a remarkable number of boats between Hillmorton and Napton, often in conveys of four. We’re a little bit concerned that our passage up the Napton flight tomorrow could be very slow due to the number of boats on the move. An early start has been decreed!

We temporarily tied up a long way short of the Bridge Inn to investigate moorings but found nothing nearer the pub so the temporary mooring became our overnight spot. The pub was closed until 6pm so Chris, Nick and Michael ventured into the village for refreshment before returning later where they were joined by Bernard.

Menu: cooked breakfast or cereal and toast; pork pie and ham salad; roast leg of lamb followed by cheese and port.

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Day 45 – Atherstone to Brinklow

Friday 7 August, 2009

The day dawned. It looked quite promising. Michael wore his shorts.

Alex Hajok joined us today and helped us up the remaining locks of the Atherstone flight. It was very slow due to the number of boats on the move and sharing locks with a another boat. Fact of the day from the extremely boring man off the other boat: “Sea Otter only make boats to order now. They do up to 55ft, but this is only 27ft.” Times three, at least….

Michael popped to the shops to stock up on bacon, beer and buns (for afternoon tea)* whilst Alex and Bernard cleared the remaining two locks. There was a veritable queue waiting come down when we reached the top.

The sun shone and it got very hot. We lunched on the move and met Harnser at Hawkesbury. We first shared a descent of the Hatton flight with Harnser a few years ago and Bernard has seen them a few times since.

We tied up for the night below Stretton Stop, near Brinklow where we bade farewell to Alex. She caught a bus to Coventry, thence a train back to Atherstone. At the mooring we were adopted by a local feline. It could probably smell our dinner.

Menu: cooked breakfast or cereal and toast (very late); Scotch eggs with salad; Chinese steamed salmon with noodles, followed by cheese and port.

*Only the buns were for afternoon tea.

Day 3 – Napton Bridge to Bulkington Bridge

Friday 26 June, 2009

We’re not in the pub tonight. It looks very boarded up.

This morning was very misty and we experienced a mighty downpour just before Wigram’s Turn. It was just after this that there were three skylarks vying for the highest point in the sky. We passed through Braunston without incident (just). It was only afterwards that we encountered many and various boats heading for the rally – Hilmorton locks were extremely busy.

mini-SNV32356 mini-SNV32360 mini-SNV32363

Wildlife watch: somewhere between Hilmorton and Rugby, we saw a red woodpecker! Fortunately the ant count has been somewhat lower today (probably a result of Bernard’s “kill one at a time” policy).

We moored for water at Rugby, and made a stop for provisions (adding to our steadily growing herb garden). Unfortunately the weather changed drastically at this point, and an unplanned lunch-stop was called for whilst the rain abated.

Newbold Tunnel

Newbold Tunnel

Luke got very excited about his first journey through a tunnel, but the expected rabbit warren turned out to be a long bridge with exciting lights (which extinguished themselves as we left, leaving the next boat in darkness).

Careful planning ensured that Michael joined within seconds of our arrival (on time) at the agreed meeting point.

Warp 9

Warp 9

Table for four, please

Table for four, please

Today’s menus: Various breakfasty sandwiches, lunch – pork and mustard sausages and assorted salads, dinner – steak and leek casserole with an oriental twist followed by melon and a choice of cheeses with port, and finally single malt whiskies.

Tonight’s sleeping arrangements will involve the extra excitement of an added snorer. Luke’s experiment with anti-snore spray last night was applauded (nobody in neighbouring boats was awakened) but only partially successful. Further trials continue.