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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kilby Bridge to Br 68 near Debdale.

Wednesday 11th March.

Kilby Bridge to Br 68 near Debdale. 7.8 miles and 12 locks.

Yesterday afternoon we moved Hadar over to the Sanitary Station, to take on water, empty the toilet cassette and dispose of rubbish, having done this we then moored up behind NB Balmaha, so we would be ready to move off in the morning.
When we got up this morning it was extremely foggy, but as the sun came out, it did not take long to burn the fog away to leave us with a bright, chilly start to the day. It was an ideal day for cruising with Mo and Vanessa on their boat NB Balmaha. We were about to set off at 9am but a Canaltime hire boat beat us to the draw and slipped their mooring first, which meant we would have to follow in their wake. It was a united decision that we would give them a 15 minute head start before we would set off, as we did not want to be caught up with them at the locks. This seemed like a great idea at the time, but proved not to really work out in practice, because after their first couple of locks we were right on their tail.
But as we approached Newton Top Lock, they were pulling away from the lock and moored up past Bridge 80 Newton bridge, so we thought yippee we can get in front of them and make some headway. An Oxfordshire hire narrowboat and a private owners boat NB Faraday, entered the lock to go down, leaving the lock clear for us and Balmaha to come up. We were literally ready to leave the lock when the Canaltime pulled out in front of us grrrrr. They had probably stopped for a coffee LOL. So we were back to following them through the next five locks.Keith and I had such a lot of fun cruising with Mo and Vanessa, they really made our day lots of fun. I certainly found working the locks, with Vanessa a real pleasure, it was nice to be able to chat whilst we worked. As we followed the hire boat up the next set of locks, it became apparent that the pounds were low and by the time we arrived at Kibworth Second Lock, the hire boat had got stuck coming out of the lock, as the pound was down by a foot and half. They managed to get moving towards Kibworth Top Lock and we began to fill our lock. Mo moved out of the lock first, because Keith was worried that Hadar would get stuck heading towards Kibworth Top Lock and that happened no sooner he left the lock. Vanessa and I walked up to the top lock and began to let water down to get Hadar refloated, eventually she was once more on the move and Keith managed to get her into the lock. All of this excitement made for an excellent day. We cruised through Saddington Tunnel (880 yds). It is worth looking up when going though the tunnel, because inside the tunnel there are bat boxes that have been put up. Mo and Vanessa followed us through the tunnel, which we worried about a little because we know how loud Hadar's engine can be. That is why we wear ear plugs, but later on Mo told us it was not actually that bad, which was good to know. After a lovely day we both moored up before Bridge 68. Vanessa very kindly invited us onboard their boat for a cup of tea, which I reckon we had earned. it was not long before Vanessa and I were yawning, we had both worked hard. Sitting drinking tea and chatting with friends, is the best way to finish a brilliant day. We really look forward to cruising with them again, they are a lovely couple and lots of fun.
Before I finish todays posting, I thought I would show you Keith's latest creation. Keith finished our new Rag Rug yesterday evening, which took 7 days to complete. He based it on all the colours in our back cabin.
It really looks fabulous. He will have to make another one now.

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