Monday, 24 May 2010

Got through Stoke Bruerne and left the Gongoozelers in a cloud of smoke at the top lock. I forgot to mention earlier that the head gasket has blown and we're burning a little oil now, so it gets a bit smokey at times. We motored on and got to the bottom of Buckby by about 9:00.
Left Buckby at 7:30 hoping to get ahead start on the Sunday dawdlers but that plan went to cock at the second lock up, no water. The local locky was already on to it and running water down, top man. This delayed us by about two hours so the poor boat that came up with us ("Mel 'n' Colly") had to get into trot mode. By the time we got to the top the lady on the boat, Mel or Colly, I don't know which, was completely pooped and was fearing the confines of Braunston tunnel. We met again at Braunston top lock and she seamed to have survived the experience, after a quick descent we parted company and we turned left at Braunston turn and headed for Napton Junction. Due to us coming from Brentford, we thought, well I thought, we might retrace the route taken by Bill and Joe Beresford in the 1950's film "Inland Waterway" and carry on to Samson road depot.
It was a steady slog to the junction, the sun was beating down and we'd caught up with the Sunday dawdlers, we're in tickover and still gaining on them. Eventually we were waved on and we overtook. Thinking that would be the last we saw of him, I looked back and there he is, right behind us, all the way to the locks. I'm sure he just wanted someone to follow. We teamed up with another boat waiting at the locks and left him behind.
After a while we were on our own and trying to be good boaters and shutting the gates behind us only to find them open up again, so we gave it up and left them as they did in Bill and Joe's day.
When we got to the bottom we left the lock and we got him, Mr. sodding perfect, "Are you leaving that gate then?" my answer, "Yep...Why" his reply I didn't hear being a bit deaf but I got gist he wasn't happy. The top gates were tight as a ........ well they weren't leaking so whats the problem?
We then dragged our arse or Shoe plate if you want to be correct, all the way through Royal Leamington Spa where I had to out stare a few of the local brats armed with stones, I'm glad to say my scruffy hat, unshaven face and mean look won the day and the stones dropped to the ground.
After eating my tea on the move we finally got to the Cape of Good Hope, the pub that is, and tied up.

This morning, up with the birds and Hatton in front of us. you know the rest if you've done Hatton in the blazing sun. We were on our own, as usual, so it was a steady plod, 3 hour 10 mins.
and a pot of tea at the top. We're now at Catherine de Barnes and off to the pub.

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