Sunday, July 6, 2014

Birds, Braunston and Bloggers.

We have been sort of planning to be in the Braunston area this weekend for a catch up with some fellow bloggers and a plan was coming together which meant that we needed to get down towards Norton Junction on Saturday. The trip from Welford Junction to Watford Locks is one of about five hours, but then the uncertainty of lock queues can scupper plans, so off we set mid morning along the summit level. 

We could never get tired of cruising this particular stretch. So much wildlife to see if you keep your eyes open. Yelvertoft Marina always looks appealing and people we know that moor there rate it quite highly. Maybe a future 'home'......who knows. 
There's a Reed Warbler in there somewhere
No introduction needed here
As we approached Watford Locks, there was one boat ahead of us. Would we be held up as we were at Foxton yesterday? As it happened the Lockie was already raising the paddles of the top lock as he saw us approaching and so both boats were straight in. Just time to empty a cassette and get rid of a bag of rubbish before Louise brought Blue Moon into the top lock and then through this pretty flight of locks before we knew it. A couple of boats at the bottom as we got towards the final lock and one lady who thought I'd stolen her water until it was pointed out that she needed to book in with the lock keeper as displayed on the numerous signs. What a shame she'll miss out on all the wildlife on offer !
Watford Top Lock
We turned right at Norton Junction and moored before the tunnel which we would tackle in the morning. There was lots of boat activity all evening and until quite late. As we shut up shop about 10pm, one boat came from the direction of Braunston, passed at tickover with a cheery wave and all lit correctly. Personally we have never cruised at night, but I can see the attraction. You would think that would be the last of the boats, but oh no. 12.45am and we are woken by another boat, not exactly at tickover either - now that takes the p!ss. 

After our broken nights sleep, we headed off just before 8am this morning only to be soon halted by a CART employee at the tunnel entrance as a wide beam boat was travelling towards us through the tunnel which was pre booked. Once clear we headed through and were soon at the top lock at Braunston where we teamed up with nb Soporific. There are some weird and wonderful names of boats and we quite often google them.....try it and see unless you're really clever and understand such words. 

Braunston was full of boats, some left from last weekend at the historic boat show and it is a place we quite like to travel through than stop off at. We headed to Willoughby before taking the short walk into the village and The Rose Inn where we met up with Lesley & Joe from nb Yarwood Lisa & David from nb What A Lark and their 'boat sharers' Amanda & David - read the blog - it's a great read and you'll understand.
Is there a name for a group of bloggers ?
What a great little pub. Friendly staff, excellent food and terrific company to top it all off. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Back to Blue Moon then as Amanda had brought freshly baked scones from home and after the process of whipping cream was expertly demonstrated by Lisa, Amanda and David, before we enjoyed afternoon tea.
The 'Whipping Team'  Lisa, Amanda and David
Our very welcome guests
A final treat before we all went our separate ways as nb Nuneaton and butty Brighton owned by the Narrow Boat Trust passed us heading for London with a cargo of coal. What a fantastic sight to see these large 'Northwich' and 'Woolwich' boats doing what they do best.


  1. Great shots of the vintage boats John. A lovely day in the sun with everyone. Thank you both for having us all.
    Lisa & David x

  2. Errm,
    "Nuneaton" is a "Large Northwich" boat, not a "Large Woolwich" one!

    1. Thanks are of course correct and the editor has been at work. How spooky you should comment on our blog after we passed Sickle today moored at Alvecote. Thanks for taking time to read the blog.