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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Norton Junction to Nether Heyford,

Thursday 19th March.

Norton Junction to Nether Heyford, 7.2 miles and 7 locks.

After an overnight frost, we woke up to a pea soup view from the back cabin.There was a real chill in the air as I took Paddy for his walk, but no sooner had we stepped off of the boat, the sun was trying to poke its face through the fog. As we strolled along the towpath, I could feel the sun warming my back, so it was looking good for another nice day. As we arrived back at the boat, Keith was already preparing Hadar for the off and by 9.10am we were setting off back onto the Grand Union, leaving the Leicester Arm behind until October, when we will hopefully be back to do our winter coal run.
As we made our way to the first of the Buckby Flight, a Rose Hire boat was coming up through the first lock. I stood and had a lovely conversation with the couple on the boat, who were hiring for the second year and enjoying every moment. I helped them operate the paddles before wishing them well as they carried on with their holiday. Also at the lock were six BW workers enjoying their morning tea break, one of them shut the gate as we left the lock, which was very gentlemanly of him. I said thank you before joining Keith on the stern. Sadly as usual we were alone descending the flight. There never seems to be anyone to share with. At lock two there is a canal shop housed in Anchor Cottage, it has lots of canal ware and gifts, we stood chatting to Tricia the owner whilst the lock filled. The shop is filled with wonderful canal ware, lace plates and other canal related items. It is really worth popping into even if it is just for an ice cream.
As you descend the Buckby Flight you cannot ignore the motorway, it is so noisy as it runs alongside the canal.Even after leaving the Buckby Flight at Whilton Marina, you can still watch the speeding traffic for sometime, it makes us so pleased that we live at such a slow pace and have no need for a car anymore.
Now that Spring is really in the air, it means that the trees are now developing their leaves and the grass is beginning to grow once more. The contractors for BW were out cutting the grass on the towpath and strimming the edges, which seems earlier than we have seen them in previous years. Maybe they are making an early start this year.
We arrived at High House Wharf at 1pm, where we moored up and went to visit friends Elaine and David on NB Patience. Unfortunately David had to go to work, but we sat chatting and drinking coffee for a couple of hours with Elaine. It was really lovely to catch up on all their news and to go some way into putting the world to right LOL. We look forward to seeing them again possibly in June.
After leaving Elaine we cruised on to Nether Heyford and Fred Tarry’s Coal Yard where we are due to take on 6 tonne of coal. We spent some time chatting to Richard our coal merchant and made arrangements for taking on our coal in the morning.

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