Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Stretton Stop to Braunston

The proximity of the railway line worries us but once again, we are impressed at the quietness of modern trains, and they barely disturb us all night.
In the morning, Kate Boats kindly send up a mechanic with a crowbar and spanners to help adjust the alternator. Almost immediately, he is cursing the BMC for having non-standard bolts and he disappears to get the right spanner. All is fixed quickly and they refuse payment - so I stick a few notes in the Air Ambulance tin in the shop. Kind people.

However, on departure, the arrival of boats in both directions causes chaos as there is barely the space to pass. We end up waiting for more than half an hour as three boats in succession arrive from the south and steam on through the narrow gap, seemingly ignoring the five boats patiently waiting an opportunity to start again. There's more than a little muttering and grumbling from us and the boats around us.

It seems a long day as we have to reach Braunston, and we need to motor quicker than we like. We are not a quick boat at the best of times, and any kind of deadline makes for stressful sailing: plenty of concentration needed and long stretches of tickover through Barby.
Late on, the sun dips slowly and majestically, creating a warm, golden summer evening. The wise moor up south of Barby and enjoy the warmth with a drink and a barbecue. We grit our teeth and press on.
We arrive back at Braunston hours late, and with no mooring.
16.1 miles, 3 locks

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