Sunday, 8 October 2017

On familiar waters

Edmund met us at Braunston with his friend from work to stay for a few days. His friend was recruited from Australia by London Ambulance, she was very excited about staying as they don’t have canals there. Plus, she wanted some help finishing her four year long knitting project. Edmund took the opportunity to brush up on his knitting skills and they both went home with some of my handspun yarn that I’ve recently plied and washed, which Edmund wound into balls using my swift and ball winder, when he was a child he’d always volunteer to do the ball winding for me.

A felt bag as a hat!!

Braunston Turn

Over the 5-6 years before deciding to have a boat built we’ve spent many Sundays at Braunston viewing the second hand boats for sale, however, we’ve never cruised that far north when we hired. It was at Norton Junction we entered familiar waters. 

Museum 2017
Museum 2011

As usual Blisworth Tunnel was VERY leaky. We took the first mooring at Stoke Bruerne we came across so we could take our visitor to the museum, where Edmund always has great fun with the children's dressing up clothes and look at the blacksmith and stained glass studio. We needed to get our crew back to Milton Keynes for the 19.00 train to London and planned to moor at Grafton Regis where they could get a bus to MK. There were lots of gongoozlers at the locks at Stoke Bruerne and our two crew chatted and had the kids help open the gates. We used to always hire from Wyvern and we saw first Wyvern boat moored just before Blisworth Tunnel.

Our first Wyvern boat seen

We also went past our friends Cath & Alan’s historic ice breaker tug ‘Sickle’ moored at High House Wharf. We went on Sickle a few years back at the Rickmansworth Canal Festival. In addition we saw two other boats with names from the Northern Line, Balham and Edgeware (which appears to be spelt incorrectly) both looking rather sorry for themselves.

Ice breaker Sickle at it's mooring

Aboard Sickle, Rickmansworth 2015

Balham and Edgeware

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve covered lots of miles and had long cruising days to make sure we were below the planned stoppages by the end of the month, so now we plan to very slowly meander further southwards over the next few weeks. We’ll be staying at Grafton Regis for a while now, as the Northamptonshire country side is beautiful.

Last Sunday Heather had a stall with her origami flowers at a wedding fayre at Hunton Park, Kings Langley where our niece Alice works. It was a long drive for Heather from the north west and she asked if she could stop off at us for a break. So I hopped in the car with her and spent the weekend at my sister Louise’s house and helped at the wedding fayre too. So John wasn’t lonely my brother-in-law Paul went up to spend the evening with him at Long Itchington.

Heather's origami bouquets
Wedding fayre table

Oh my gosh, autumn has really kicked in with millions of leaves on the boat. So where possible we’ll try to moor in exposed spots so we don’t get covered again.

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