Yesterday started off with minor collateral damage sustained in the Braunston tunnel while passing a fibreglass cruiser. They were concerned, quite rightly, that we might crack them like a walnut.
But instead, we took the damage when the taff rail struck some protruding brickwork. The rail is easily repaired and the debris from the tunnel was the only real sign of the “unplanned event”.
At the top of the Braunston lock flight we took on board some VIPs in the form of daughter Vicki, Ian and, of course, ‘Ernie pups’. On the way down the flight we briefly met up with John and Jan on nb “Jubilee”, and nb “Brindley”. Buoyed with excitement it didn’t take long before the Champagne came out. (Even Ernie has learnt to pose for the camera!)
Vicki and Ian enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.
A bit further along in the Rugby direction we noticed that C&RT have started to employ contractors to keep the grass down on the towpath!
We had a very pleasant cruise, with the autumn weather looking favourably on us and with lots of conversation, drinks and nibbles “Chance’s” rear deck came into its own once more.
Manel and Ernie became good friends.
We came across steam nb “Hastey” gliding silently past us.
After a splendid lunch of quiche, boiled potatoes and salad followed by apple and blackberry pie with custard it really became a very lazy day. Lucky that hand rail’s there Doug (he really was asleep!).
Chance is certainly a very fine thing and it reared its head again yesterday evening after we’d moored in Rugby. After a logistical challenge of getting both Vicky and Ian’s car from Braunston and our car from MGM in Thurmaston and getting back to Rugby, Vicki and Ian returned home. Later in the evening we were “accosted” on a dark footpath near Tesco by, who other than friends James and Debbie on nb “Lois Jane” who happened to recognise our height difference even on a dark night! Needless to say we had a splendid evening with them and their daughter Jess in The Harvester next to the canal. It was a great way to spend Manel’s last evening with us.
As they passed us this morning we said farewell to James, Debbie and Jess on “Lois Jane”. While Doug took Manel to catch his plane home and James took “Chance” to Brinklow Marina as we’re taking a short break from the canal world (again!).
This evening we’re having a meal with John, the marina harbourmaster, at a local hostelry before heading home in the early hours of the morning.