Recent Posts

Crick to Braunston

It was lovely to wake up and see blue skies above us for a change. It was only eight o’clock but we could hear the sound of the boat expanding as the sun warmed the steel, this is the first time this year that we have heard the noises that we would normally associate with summer. The two fishermen who we had seen setting up camp the evening before were just starting to pack up their stuff, it had been a long night for them made worse by the fact that they had caught nothing. We left our mooring just before nine and made our way back to Crick tunnel pulling our raincoats on as we went, the weather hadn’t changed but we knew that we would be in for a drenching as we passed through the tunnel. Crick tunnel is dead straight so it is possible to see the other end as soon as you enter it. Normally it is possible to gauge the distance traveled by comparing the size of the two tunnel mouths but today it was different and it took me some time to figure out why. The sun was shining at the southern end which reflected on the water just inside the end of the tunnel, creating an oval of light which was twice the size of the portal. This gave the illusion of being closer to that end even though we hadn’t reached the half way point. It was still chilly when we emerged from Crick tunnel but it was sunny and dry which was all that mattered. We checked in with the lock keeper at the top of the Watford flight and were delighted to discover that we could start our descent straight away. With the staircase lock mantra ringing in her ears, “red before white, you’ll be alright”, Sue worked us down through the seven chambers. We had been lucky with our timing as there was already a queue forming at the bottom. By then it had just gone ten thirty and another forty five minutes would see us back at Norton junction where we turned sharp right past the small toll house there. We followed another boat into Braunston tunnel and made the slowest progress of all of our subterranean trips that weekend. We met a narrowboat and a cruiser on the way through before we reached the other end. We caught up with the lead boat and joined them for the duration of the descent of the Braunston flight. They had an experienced crew of three and with enough traffic coming up to make the locks easier for all, we cleared the bottom gates at twenty past one. We were back on our berth in the marina by half past, our trip back from Crick had only taken four and a half hours, one less than the outward journey. We did think about washing the boat but grey clouds were beginning to gather and a few spots of rain warned us against getting the cleaning materials out. We had a superb home made cottage pie for lunch before packing up and returning home. Our weekend trip was voted a success by both of us and so all we need to do now is to plan the next trip out.