Friday, 6 June 2014

To Northampton

Thursday 5 June
B29 Weedon Bec to Northampton on the River Nene
6.5 miles, 17 locks

Having holed up yesterday to ride out the rain we set off this morning in sunshine.  Down to just before the tunnel to wind (turn around), up to Gayton Junction for services only to find it was like Piccadilly Circus

Boats everywhere

To be joined by gongoozling walkers watching the fun as boats danced around each other

Onwards down the Northampton Arm to tackle the 17 narrow locks – easy we thought as we are used to the 30 at Tardebigge.  How wrong can one be!

The gates are much harder to cross – both ends involve a scramble and you cannot step across the bottom pair of gates as I am able to on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal – the place we consider to be home territory.

The wind was strong and blowing us to the side – we went firmly aground at lock 3.  As I was pushing us from the side and Chris was trying to pole us off a party of walkers went past and one asked me if we knew what we were doing!!  In the end we succeeded and went on our way.

It was certainly rural.  We met quite a few boats coming up which certainly helped

At lock 11 there is a little grotto – not a good photo as the dog saw something to chase and went off, so I was more concerned about him than photography.  Somewhere to look at in more detail if we come this way again in the future

Lock 13 is the last of the Rothersthorpe Flight, but there are 4 more locks which are well spaced out before you get to Northampton

At least the sky was blue and the wind did drop as we dropped down the flight

At last we came across our first sighting of the River Nene just before the last lock.  Not very salubrious, but it is there

This tower dominates the skyline all the way into Northampton.  We would never have known what it is without the knowledge that Boatwif and the Captain have from previous visits – it is a lift testing tower

Here we are on the Nene heading towards

our mooring just under the bridge

With this as our view across the river

And Morrisons so close you can wheel your trolley right up to the boat

And so to the end of the day an exhaustion had set in.  It had taken over 6 hours to do this stretch - we can do the 30 of Tardebigge in less than four hours!  More miles admittedly, but a lot less locks, but much harder work. Tomorrow is another day.

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