Thursday, 5 March 2009

Thursday 5 March 09. Northampton to between Gayton and Bugbrooke. 18 locks!!!

We set off quite early this morning, working through a heavy frost but nice and bright all the same. The contrast between this end of the canal and the upper reaches are chalk and cheese. This is not a nice place to be! We tried to find a safe(ish) mooring last night in the wilds but still had quad bikes and dirt bikes roaring up and down the towpath until late.

The last two locks into Northampton were choked with reeds as BW had been cutting and chucking them in the canal. We had to dig our way through just to get the gates open. I got quite aquainted with our "Weed Hatch" today. (A Weed Hatch is a sealed hole through the back of the boat directly over the propeller, which you can open when stopped and clear any debris). There was so much of this stuff that it actually built up under the boat coming out of a lock and we ran aground on it. Lots of reversing and cursing at that point.

Some points of the canal were still so heavily reeded that it was nearly blocked.

This is where D suggested that it was just like the film African Queen and that maybe it was time I did a Bogart and got in the canal and pulled. Not funny, no not funny at all.

Why did they keep going I hear you ask? well we had to as the only place to turn around or"Wind"

was in the heart of Northampton. This was an all or bust decision that we wont be doing again in a hurry!

You can see the trouble we had down there as the channel is on the left.

This bit isnt quite so bad but as this is still the Grand Union and the only link to the River Nene and beyond to the Fens, you would like to see a bit more maintainance.

Friday tomorrow, where has the time gone?

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