Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Back to Braunston

We were up early this morning and onto the water point at The Moorings, it was still raining but we were suitably attired for the elements. Water tank filled, we moved on to the entrance of the Crick tunnel to moor behind Ferndale, have breakfast and wait for our locking buddies. Working steam narrowboat President towing butty Kildaire went past giving a satisfactory note on the whistle as we were getting ready to leave, it's always nice to see this 1909 boat cutting through the water in her working boat trim towing a butty.

It was slow going once we got into the tunnel, not because of President but the boat in front of Ferndale with a novice crew had lost all power to the boats lights, and in the darkness of the tunnel crashed from one side to the other the full length of the tunnel, the sensible thing to do was for them to pull over and let Ferndale go in front and light the way for them. Diane did ask them if they wanted assistance but they seemed happy to crash their way through.

Once through the tunnel and under the hectic real world up there on the M1, we are at the Watford flight of locks, Ray booked our passage with the lock keeper and we made short work of the locks which include a 4 staircase lock. Ferndale stopped at the water point while we continued, Ray & Diane caught us before we took the right hand turn on to the Grand Union canal. Sue was baking bread and the smell was creeping up to the tiller making me hungry, Braunston tunnel was next, some lads fishing at the mouth of the tunnel told me they had caught some large Zander when I asked.

A few yards into the tunnel, I negotiate an on coming boat doing a fair rate of knots, all FL's paint stayed put, which puts me at ease especially as my moral support was busy in the galley the whole trip through the tunnel. With our locking buddies we were down the Braunston flight with ease, moored and drinking tea, drying out in the warmth of the cabin just as the rain stopped!

Ferndale following the afflicted boat.


Ferndale leaving Crick tunnel

Leaving Crick tunnel.

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