Long Buckby update

Having arrived in the pound below Buckby Top Lock, we intended to stay put a couple of days due to forecast rain. We have stayed in this pound previously, and the water level does tend to drop during the day, as boats use the flight. This time however, everytime a boat came up the flight draining a lock of water from the pound, we found our boat listing quite severely. During Tuesday I had to run some water down from the top lock 4 or 5 times, just to maintain a reasonable level. Discussing the issue with the volunteer lock keepers the problem has been caused by CRT removing a course of bricks from the bywash, thereby lowering the maximum water level held in the pound. Consequently today we moved. Once through Buckby top lock, the last of the wide locks, it was only a few hundred yards to Norton Junction where we turned left onto the Leicester Line G.U. We moored in our usual spot, and are now well placed for our trip up the Watford flight, and on towards Yelvertoft tomorrow.

Even though we only spent a short time near the canalware shop, it was hard to resist having a look inside. 

We have been looking for a barometer for a while now and this old model caught our eye. Now we just have to find a suitable bracket to mount it in our back cabin.
Totals 400 Yards 1 Lock
Running total 94 Miles 61 Locks 4 Tunnels 

Long Buckby

We spent a pleasant weekend moored close to Nether Heyford, but today it was time to move on. The mooring we had is now recorded in our book as a good spot, it is nice and rural, with some good walks and fairly close to a pub. The towpath is wide and grassy, so plenty of room for the four legged crew to play. The fishing however is rubbish. Three days spent, and not a single bite. Clearly all the boat traffic had an effect. On the Saturday we walked to the Old Dairy Farm in Upper Stowe. It was until that point, the hottest day of the year so far, and the clue was in the name, Upper. It was uphill all the way. The centre has a collection of small farm buildings surrounding a courtyard. There is a selection of arts and crafts shops to visit and also a restaurant for refreshments.


                                                        Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe.

Due to it being so hot and a bit of a hike, the furry crew member had been left to relax in the relative coolness of the boat. I therefore knew it was not him tickling my neck, and it certainly wasn’t the two legged crew, which is when I found this crawling on me.

On Sunday as stated we went to the Narrowboat P.H. for our roast dinner. Just as well we booked as it was packed. The rest of the day was then spent lounging around, not catching fish.
Today we set off at about 9 am. Our first stop was at rugby boats for a pump out, then a further short hop to the water point to replenish the tank. It was here that we met blogging royalty, nb. No Problem accompanied by nb. Seyellas Journey. Both these write far more extensive blogs than ours, and can be found in our blog list. We have met Seyellas Journey before but this was a first for No Problem. Their blog was one of the first we read whilst doing our initial research into a life afloat. 

                                                        Nb. No problem and Nb. Seyellas Journey.

On completion of the tank filling it was on towards the Buckby flight of locks. Seven in all, but we only planned to go up six today. At the foot of the locks we found ourselves alone for the ascent but as it was lunchtime we thought we’d stop. Just as we finished lunch another boat passed us towards the locks and this was our locking partner. Not only did we now have another boat in the lock, but this singlehanded lady boater had friends, who she had phoned, and they turned up to help so the crew was assisted in their duties today. Once at our mooring spot it was into the shop for a well earned ice lolly, then off to the pub for a cold drink. It’s forecast to rain tomorrow so we will stay put a day or so. We now have only one more wide lock to do before returning to home waters.
Totals 5 Miles 6 Locks
Running total 94 Miles 60 Locks 4 Tunnels

Long Buckby day 2

Yesterday’s trip to the New Inn for fish and chips ended with some amusement. During our time in the pub the level in the pound between the locks dropped over a foot. It had already been a bit on the low side, but this further drop had been too much for one of our mooring chains. It had snapped, and the base plate of the boat was 3 or 4 inches out of the water at the stern. So, I collected a windlass and returned to the top lock to run a little water down, whilst the crew retrieved the remainder of the snapped chain and our mooring rope. It was during my absence the crew took their first dip in the cut. Fortunately, it was not a full immersion as they somehow managed to throw themselves onto the bank. Sadly, a photo opportunity missed. Today we walked down the flight of locks to visit the chandlers at Whilton Marina, replacing the broken chain and obtaining a spare. We also found a farm shop a two minute walk from the canal. It was very well stocked with fresh meats, sweet and savoury pies and some home baked cakes and cookies. All the produce is direct from the farm. We like to support these small canal side businesses, and this is close enough for us to visit by car when we are back at our winter mooring in Yelvertoft.

On the walk back we spotted a duck with her newly hatched ducklings, eleven in total. She will have her work cut out keeping control of that lot.

Our route took us back passed the canalware shop and this time resistance was futile. I was relieved of my wallet and we now have a new flower box to adorn the roof of the boat. Finally, I thought we had moored in a 48 hr zone but it turns out we can stay put up to 14 days where we are. Not that we will stay that long but if the weather on Monday is unfavourable we don’t have to move.