Saturday, 14 August 2010

Day Twenty-Three: The Duck completes the Thames Ring

Bridge 80 (N of Braunston) - Stowe Hill Wharf

12 miles, 13 locks

N Oxford Canal, GU Main Line

Our first stop of the day was in Braunston where we bought an oil pump to clear the oil in the bilges and made use of the oil disposal point at the marina.

We have now entered Braunston from all three angles (although admittedly one was on Melaleuca). We shared five of the six locks up out and towards the tunnel with a boat containing a group of school kids. They and their helmsman were a friendly bunch. The kids were all eager to help, and were quite competent, under their leaders' instructions. The hireboat full of students with whom we shared the first lock, and who followed us up were less so. They mistakenly opened both paddles on the bottom gate before the youth club boat had left, or the gates been closed. The result was that the gate I and one of the kids was closing smashed into the side of their boat, which was whisked backwards very quickly despite being full ahead. The helmsman shoulted to drop the paddles and all was well again.

Soon we were up and through the tunnel, in which we passed four boats coming the other way! Then we were back at Norton Junction, finally completing the missing section in our own boat of the unfinished Thames ring which we started in 2008!

We descended the Buckby flight in intermittent rain and bright sunshine, and continued as far as Stowe Hill Wharf, just south of Weedon, mooring up in sunshine, but luckily just before a huge rainstorm. Back on the Nene tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment