Start 8:00am finish 6:00pm (with a few breaks!)
GU Leicester Section, GU
15 miles, 14 locks
A relaxing day for us. It began with an early start, ice breaking as we passed Crick Marina and towards the tunnel. We were through the tunnel at 9am, and then heard that our friends (big)James and Emma, their son, and their friend Audrey, who were to meet us at Watford locks, were running a little late. So we stopped to wait for them at the top of the staircase and had a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich while we waited. They arrived, bearing supplies as well, having kindly offered to stop in Tescos on the way and pick up some essentials for us.
As we descended the staircase, the sun began to shine, and it turned into a glorious day. The Jameses were at the tiller and we were soon at the bottom of the locks. They joined us for a little cruise to Norton Junction, and we ate some of the amazing rainbow cake that Emma had made. All too soon it was time to say goodbye – they were off for some more local explorations – visiting Braunston and Foxton locks, and we were off to Braunston too. But not by boat – Neil of Herbie had kindly offered to drive us over to pick up our purchases, saving us hours of boating and allowing us to have a bit of a day off!
We loaded the car with the fridge, leisure batteries, anchor chain, new mushroom vent, rope, and set off back to Norton Junction, where Neil was able to park the car right next to the boat! Soon we were off down the Buckby flight in the sun, sharing locks with nb Sláinte. At the bottom lock we stopped to buy some coal at Whilton Marina before pressing on. With no locks it was quite a pleasant cruise but the Grand Union is busier and we met several boats coming the other way. I even took the tiller for a while, learning how the boat responds differently to the Duck.
We moored up very early for us, at Bugbrooke, at 6pm. We lit the stove, wired in the new fridge then went looking for a pub to have dinner. After two false starts, we had some hearty pub grub at the Five Bells and then walked back to the boat in the dusk.
On to the Nene tomorrow!