Saturday, 3 October 2015

Journey’s End (for a while!)

The last week has been similar to all the other weeks we’ve had on “Chance” in the last two months – a sort of relaxed mania!


After we’d moored up all three boats at Crick it was time to walk the 15 minutes to The Red Lion for a meal. Just as we left the boats we had the most glorious sunset – no real justice done by this pic.


Here we are: Tony, Jan, Pauline, Neil, James and Doug just before the food came. It was a great night and in the morning “Waterlily” and “Chance” left Tony and Jan behind at Crick to continue our journey to Market Harborough.


AT LAST! We got a photo of a Kingfisher! Apart from this lovely little bird that gives us so much pleasure along the canals, the pic gives an indication as to the wealth and quantity of berries which grace the hedgerows this autumn. It’s been truly splendid.


After a good old 6 hours of lockless cruising we got to Foxton Locks where, as it wasn’t busy, we had only a short wait before going down.


It’s a special feeling we get as we embark down this flight of two lots of five staircase chambers with this tremendous view from the top.


After Foxton it was a gentle run into Market Harborough where we had a lovely evening on board “Chance” with Pauline and Neil. James and Pauline skivvying in the galley ………..


…….. while Neil takes a hard earned rest! The next morning Doug caught the train to Leicester to pick up the car from the MGM boatyard and Pauline and Neil went with James on “Chance” to help him back up the Foxton locks.


On a slightly negative note, if you catch Foxton in the day time it can be quite a wait for the next ‘slot’. On our passage back up we found out why! The volunteer lock keepers do too much talking. On one occasion, after a chamber had been empty for some time we had to ask for the gates to be opened. Added to that, they didn’t fully understand the sequence of the ‘red and white’ paddle operation! This resulted in unnecessary inefficiency so no wonder we had to wait ages at the bottom. We weren’t impressed!


Anyway, at the top of the locks James said a sad farewell to Neil and Pauline and embarked on the six hours back to Crick where he met up with Doug again. Blinding, but glorious sunshine ruled the day for James!


A quick ‘overnight’ in Crick we were on our way again and soon going down the Watford lock flight – always a snug fit in it’s deep chambers!


Stopping on Thursday night in Braunston to meet up with boating friends Alison and Dave on nb “Freespirit” we were surprised by two lovely people, Roger and Liz on nb “Meander” who we’d met two years ago on the Stoke Bruerne lock flight. They had just taken over their boat and were very new to the canals. James helped Liz steer the boat through her very first lock and, two years later, Liz had just done her thousandth lock! They brought two bottle of Prosecco on board for us to help them celebrate. We weren’t going to say no!


Coming down the Braunston locks we’d met blog readers Marilyn and Dave on nb “Waka Huia” who, bringing their own lovely contributions with them, also came along to join the celebration. When Dave and Alison (nb Free Spirit) turned up we had a full house and a very impromptu party!


It’s a poor pic but we all headed to the Boat House for a meal together. Roger, (Kiwi) Dave, Doug, Alison, James, (UK) Dave, Marilyn and Liz. A great night and thanks all of you for an enjoyable last evening on “Chance”


On Friday morning we cruised out of Braunston for our last journey this year. A lovely autumn morning, great countryside, ………


…….. passing the hoards of hedgerow fruits and ………..


……… the wonderful sights of autumn with the colours becoming sensational. “Chance” is now tucked up for the winter, we’re on our way with a full car and exciting expectations of the next few months ahead.

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