Boatwif Blog

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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...

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Bar service…

Napton to near Norton Junction: 8.6 miles, 6 locks, 1 tunnel           Heat early this morning – both from the sun and also from a fire in a bankside bucket (though reason unknown).          The canal between Napton and Braunston is a contour canal: it winds and weaves its lock-free way around the hills and slopes of this part of South Warwickshire. Contented sheep bleated from the fields, Napton Narrowboats hurried past back to their hire base, butterflies danced and...

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Grand sightings on the Grand Union

Thursday 24th July, posted Friday from Braunston (after an overnight mooring in a rural but signal-free area!)Bascote Locks to Napton:  8.6 miles, 17 locks           When raindrops from an oak tree, chosen for its shade properties, cause sleep disturbance the brain suspects an umbrella or a waterproof day may lie ahead. Just once today there was a dash below to collect waterproofs, though never were they worn; it was again more of a sunhat day.           A boat passed by at...

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Down 2, up 6

Warwick to Bascote: 8.6 miles, 8 locks           At just before midday on Wednesday Cleddau resumed her summer cruise – phase 4 now – pulling out of the Saltisford Arm at Warwick and turning right towards Leamington Spa.  Summer, as in summer weather, still prevails and here in Warwickshire there is a great deal of heat but little breeze.           Why the long pause in boating – and in boatwifing?  There were the Captain’s planned meetings in Bedfordshire – and...

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Downhill duo

Friday – Hatton Top Lock to Saltisford Arm, Warwick: 3 miles, 21 locks           “Early start,” said the Captain. “Get down the locks before it’s really too hot.”  So, before 8am the boat was waiting at Hatton Top Lock for a cruising partner.  Nothing and nobody was moving.           A van turned up to try to deliver supplies to the cafe – but no staff had yet arrived.           Breakfast.           Water tank topped up.           Breakfast dishes washed and put away.          ...

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Staircase inspection…

Rowington to Hatton: 3.1 miles, 1 tunnel  (plus a three mile walk)            To Hatton Locks then – and decide on a plan when we get there…            Other boats moored on Rowington Embankment had already departed. By 10am Cleddauand crew were off along the canal towards Shrewley Tunnel, recalling last night’s warning from another boater that it is “very wet inside”.  Just beyond the first bridge a pair of contractors was strimming grass – from then on a green...

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The smallest ring and an unexpected discovery

Lowsonford to Rowington: 3.2 miles, 8 locks            From one narrow canal (the Stratford) to a broad canal (the Grand Union).  Where last night the internet signal was erratic, intermittent and unusable tonight it is strong and steady…           It was uphill again this morning, on a warm day. Walking calmly along the towpath, pushing twin toddlers in a baby buggy, carrying a 10 week old baby in a sling and supervising one black Labrador was one (apparently) calm mother....

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Just moving slowly

Tuesday – Wootton Wawen to Lowsonford:  4.5 miles, 9 locks, 1 aqueduct            Cleddau continues her slow creep up the Stratford Canal. The sun’s hot rays define actions and activity: after a glorious, restful day on Monday under the shade of a wide-spreading tree it was time to move on. The Captain executed a fine reverse back to the Anglo-Welsh base behind to buy a replacement propane bottle. In slow time one of the longest boats in the hire fleet...