Category: Boat Update

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Snapped Gear Cable

All Oaks Wood, Brinklow to Hawkesbury Junction, 8.8 miles, 0 locks, 1 breakdown             Once untied this morning Cleddau dived into a long wooded cutting. A serious tree collapse in one place and overgrowth of vegetation in several other places makes navigation along this stretch of the North Oxford interesting… After about two miles comes Stretton Stop where there is a busy boatyard and hire boat fleet. The boatyard staff dart backwards and forwards across the footbridge but it swivels...

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Tickover on the North Oxford

Onley to All Oaks Wood, near Brinklow: 11 miles, 3 locks            “So where’s Brinklow?” you may ask. In canal terms this sunny evening mooring is midway between the western side of Rugby and the eastern side of Coventry – and quite definitely in Warwickshire.             As the Captain was about to draw away from the towpath this morning the sage voice of another boater advised him not to bother – he was number 2 in a boat convoy that...

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Company on board

Norton Junction to  Onley (North Oxford Canal):  7.5 miles, 1 tunnel, 6 locks           Godmanchester Friend came to call today. There had been a late evening phone call last night. “Where are you? Where will you be tomorrow? I have too much to do, I shouldn’t , I can’t, I think I will…! And where is Braunston?”  Self-respecting canalaholics will know that it is in the heart of the country, the junction of the Grand Union Canal going north to...

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Can ignorance be bliss?

Bugbrooke to Norton Junction: 8.4 miles, 7 locks            It was a quiet morning’s cruise, due to be punctuated by a stop at Stowe Wharf for diesel (“No way mate, got 2000 litres of diesel here but the pump won’t work!”) and a quick shopping trip in Weedon Bec. The Grand Union Canal wends its way through the golden-coloured Northamptonshire fields, sometimes close to the railway line, at other times further away. From the water you see faces of buildings not...

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Conversations (and a massive Monkton Moment*)

Grafton Regis to Bugbrooke:10¼ miles, 7 locks            It’s not reaching the destination that makes boating such a joy but who you meet and what you see en route – take today for example…            It was drizzly first thing but luckily the rain had stopped by the time Stoke Bruerne Bottom Lock was reached. In a smooth operation the locks were climbed, paired with the rather shorter Shufflepast whose crew of two adults, three children and a spaniel made...

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North – and west and north again (plus a MM*)

Milton Keynes to Grafton Regis: 13.25 miles, 1 lock            At 1120 today Cleddau drew out of the Milton Keynes Marina, turned left and started Phase 5 of the summer cruise, now heading back to the Macclesfield Canal.  The views were familiar since only two days ago there had been a sunny boat trip this way with neighbours and an outdoor lunch at the Black Horse in Great Linford. The addition on the front deck (the blooms a perfect match...

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Moist meandering through Milton Keynes

Cosgrove to Peartree Bridge: 8 miles            “Big raincoat day,” the Captain declared this morning.  To put on heavy waterproof jackets (and rain hats) after weeks of cruising in sunshine felt, well, odd!  The rain came in different strengths – light rain, drenching rain, misty rain, varying its intensity frequently. From time to time the Captain deployed the big umbrella (to protect the engine room, of course!)            After a rural start the arrival among the new apartments at Wolverton...

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A cruise in two (unequal) parts

Stoke Bruerne to Cosgrove: 7 miles, 8 locks, 1 aqueduct                Onwards, further south to Milton Keynes – not for the shopping, not for the concrete cows, not for a roundabout counting exercise, but to moor the boat for a few days. First to leave pretty Stoke Bruerne..             Just as Cleddau reached the top lock this morning a lady emerged from one of the cottages. “Are you Kathryn?” Boatwif ventured. “I read your blog.” And so it was –...

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Summer Sunday at Stoke Bruerne

Nether Heyford to Stoke Bruerne: 10 miles, 1 tunnel            Congrats to Senior Sis who overnight emailed a correct identification of the pretty flag shown yesterday. (See below for details).            Last night’s storms brought an air change and today has been bright and breezy, with one brief afternoon shower. It was a pleasant enough cruise towards Gayton Junction, the main features being  sheep in the fields, the railway line, the curving course of the canal and a fair number...

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A couple of puzzles

Near Norton Junction to  Nether Heyford:  6.75 miles, 7 locks             It’s been a hot day again, though here in Northamptonshire a mooring was secured about four hours before the storm. Now the rain is in full rage, with thunder and lightning regularly crashing and flashing…Somehow sunset tonight is unlikely to be as spectacular as last night’s!            It was a smart turn right at Norton Junction this morning and about an hour’s pause for servicing before finally the top...