Lived onboard Hadar

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Braunston to near Wormleighton.

Monday 29th December.

Braunston to Napton Bridge 7.3 miles.

We enjoyed a lovely quiet Christmas in Braunston, friends passing from time to time, on their boats, these included Brian and Diana on N.B Harnser and Mike on the Working Boat Jubilee. Over Christmas we took a scenic walk into Braunston passing Braunston’s beautiful church.We also paid a visit to the Boat Shop above the bottom lock, where we enjoyed an interesting conversation with the shop owner about Braunston and its history. The Boat Shop not only has lots of boat paintings, painted canal ware, books and gifts, it also has a few groceries for anyone in desperate need of provisions.As we left the Boat Shop, the tunnel tug Sharpness was exiting the lock with another Narrowboat. The last time we saw Sharpness was at the Black Country Museum back in August.Having spent a nice few days in Braunston, it was decided that we would make a move today towards Napton, but first we needed to reverse Hadar to the sanitary station by Midland Chandlers to get rid of rubbish and empty the toilet cassette. 9.40am we set off from the sanitary station and turned onto the Grand Union Canal making our way into the open countryside, with a backdrop of hills. As we approached bridge 98 on the Braunston Puddlebanks, we saw the pair of old boats one of which is burnt out, they have been there for a long time now. But this time one of them had a notice on it.One of the pair of boats is N.B Lucy an historic working boat built in Braunston in 1951. She is due to be taken out of the water in March 2009 to undergo restoration. All this came about after BW put them under a section 8 order.With so few historic boats still around and in use, it will be wonderful to see Lucy restored, so we wish their new owner all the very best with his plans to restore N.B Lucy. You can follow her restoration on her website http://www.phobox.com/lucy/
We carried on through land which is very agricultural, but at this time of the year really pretty. We could see for miles due to no foliage and the fact that many of the hedges had been trimmed. We saw quite a few boats coming towards us during our short jaunt, this included N.B Shadow as it passed the gentleman steering, said “You must be Jo and Keith good morning”. To which I replied “yes we are”. He then informed us that his name was Alfie, my reply was “Good Morning Alfie, nice to meet you”. He did go on to say something else but due to Hadar’s engine noise I could not catch what it was. So Alfie if you are reading this, it was lovely to meet you and hopefully we will meet again someday. We found ourselves behind N.B Rune from Braunston for a short time as we both past by Napton Junction. Our cruising ended at Napton Bridge 111, where we found a mooring. Unfortunately the pub is closed on Monday’s, so we will not be having a meal there this evening, which we had thought would have been nice, never mind we will eat there one day, it will be mince beef curry for us again this evening.

Tuesday 30th December.

Napton Bridge to Bridge 129 near Wormleighton on the Oxford Canal, 7.4 miles and 9 locks.


We awoke to a very cold and bright morning. Our indoor/outdoor thermometer read -2C when I took Paddy for his walk all wrapped up in my winter bag trousers and four top layers which included a base layer, shirt, fleece and donkey jacket.
With the fires stoked, breakfast done and dusted, we slipped our mooring at 9.20am and set off for the Napton Flight of locks, the air was so still that the smoke from the back stove just went straight up into the beautiful blue sky. After a very cold night there was some ice on the waters surface. We got our first glimpse of the Napton Windmill, standing proudly on top of Napton Hill.As we arrived at the first lock, there was a Kate Boats hire boat entering the lock to go up the flight ahead of us. As we climbed the flight, we had fantastic panoramic views across the valley. We did meet other boats coming down the flight, which made for an easy morning’s lock cruising, not only that I got to pass the time of day with others working the locks. Having left the top lock we passed by the old engine house arm before making our way to the Marston Doles pair of locks. We did notice that the pound was down between lock 1 and 2, and the pound above the pair was also down by 3 inches, which made for heavy going. Keith had to work hard around some of the tight corners with Hadar, because it was very shallow which meant Hadar had a mind of her own, thankfully there were no boats coming in the opposite direction, so we were able to keep to the central channel as must as possible. We were waved down by a boater moored up, he asked for two bags of Excel, which we dropped off for him, before heading off once more. It had been a pleasurable days cruising which ended near Wormleighton at 1.30pm. We were surprised to find no boats moored up on our favourite mooring place, which has excellent views across the valley. It would not have surprised us to find it full with boats, but there was not one to be seen. So we have decided that we will spend the New Year here, making the most of the lovely weather and the breath taking view. So we shall see you in the New Year.

4 comments:

Maureen said...

Happy New Year, Jo and Keith! Your photos are wonderful... I am surprised there is no snow!

Here it is -25C with lots of snow. Good thing I don't live on a boat!!

All the best.

Adam said...

Hi Jo and Keith, I think the chap on Shadow was probably Halfie. He has a blog: www.jhalfie.blogspot.com

It was great to meet you both just before Christmas, and thanks for putting the photos of Debdale on the blog. I'm glad Keith got his teeth sorted out so quickly!

Adam

Keith and Jo said...

Maureen. We had -5.6C last night, can you send us some snow to go with it pleaseeeeeeeeeee.
Happy New Year my friend. I hope its a good one.

Happy New Year Adam. Thank you for the info on Alfie I will give his blog a look. Your welcome on the photos, it was lovely to meet you both, I enjoyed reading about us on your blog as well.
Happy cruising in 2009.
Jo xx

Halfie said...

Hello, Halfie here! With an aitch (which is what I called out to you as we were passing). As I am just writing in my blog I'm sorry I didn't stop you for a bag of coal as we ran out later on our cruise.

Happy new year to you both.

Halfie.