After a water top off, we set off back across the border. I never tire of the little scene around Braunston Turn and soon we are sailing above the valley of the Leam, passing the deserted villages of Braunstonbury and Wolfhampcote.
By the bridge, we look into the undergrowth and see the last vestiges of the Wolfhamcote loop. We pass the squalor of the Puddlebanks moorings and then onto the more tranquil surroundings.
I have become particularly fond of this stretch of canal, with the green slopes above us to the east and the distant views over the wide Avon valley to the west. Ahead we see the woods above Calcutt, and Napton hill to the left.
The Stewart & Lloyds tug Vesta passes us and we let a boat pass us in turn. Once again, we drift with the wind onto a moored boat. I can see the advantages of bow thrusters in these conditions!
Even by three o'clock, the light is fading and we turn west at Wigram's with a heavy heart, for this is our last cruise this year. We should manage a few weekend excursions, but we sail silently back along napton Reservoir. We need an engineer to look at the exhaust so need to moor up above the locks, only making it back into the marina in total darkness.
7.8 miles, 3 locks
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