We left Bugbrooke yesterday morning and had a good run through to Stoke Bruerne, meeting Les (fellow blogger) on nb Valerie, passing through Gayton junction (where you can divert to Northampton if you wish) on the way. Junctions, like tunnels, usually add a bit of spice to the journey but Gayton seems a bit of a let down – perhaps it’s because it doesn’t have the usual awkward little footbridge to get through if you want to turn off. Anyway, Blisworth Tunnel came upon us quite quickly so the “spice” was quickly restored!
Here we are at the northern portal of the Blisworth tunnel – not quite so pretty as the south end but hay ho here we go! The tunnel is 3076 yards long, and two way, but as there was so little traffic around we thought we’d have it to ourselves. Not on your nelly – we met a boat coming the other way so James had to tap into previous experience from our last boat when we did quite a lot of passing in tunnels! Thankfully, the other boat slowed down very well and we passed without incident.
Stoke Bruerne is virtually upon us as we emerge from the tunnel into the daylight………
……..the very pretty Stoke Bruerne with equally pretty, pure white swans. In the background is the working boat ‘Towcester’ , which, in the morning will be loaded to it’s gunwales with coal, gas and diesel ready for a weeks’ work on the cut.
One of the attractions at Stoke Bruerne (although only temporary) is nb ‘Matilda Rose’ with follow blogger Graham, who we haven’t seen for three years, (wife Jill is away visiting her mum at present and it was a pity to have missed her). Anyhow, that didn’t stop the three of us enjoying a splendid meal in The Boat Inn - washed down with a few glasses of ale.
Graham, James and Doug finding it hard work to enjoy the evening!
Today, we moved up from our mooring to meet up with working boat ‘Towcester’ to take on a full tank of diesel. Winding ‘Chance’ in the pound was just possible –‘Chance being 58 feet and the pound width being 58feet 6 inches!
Refuelled and ready for the off, we passed nb ‘Matilda Rose’ and Graham (hanging out of the side hatch!), and soon entered the more attractive southern portal of the tunnel to begin our return journey back towards Brinklow.
Heading for the tunnel.
Inside the tunnel – yes two boats can pass!
‘Chance’ passing back through Gayton junction.
Back through the lovely, and beautifully manicured, Flore Lane – is this the “Coffin House” Ross?
Almost at our mooring for tonight (just round the corner) Oscar and Doug having a little moment together – Oscar in his favourite place on the roof but these days he has to be held in place.