16mm. 8th June

Bridge 87 to almost Braunston Marina Entrance, Grand Union Canal

Pushing off after breakfast and a short time out in the rain for Tilly we wound our way towards Braunston. This morning it was to be rainy, this afternoon dry but windy. Rain is preferred when there is such a choice.

A boat was just pulling out from the Midland Chandlers mooring opposite Braunston Turn so we took its place. The man at the helm said he’d pulled in for a bag of coal, he thought he’d got the last one. Sadly he was right, we were offered logs, kindling and fire lighters but no coal was left. With the evenings a touch chilly at the moment we are lighting the stove, we still have just under a bag of coal, so there’s no immediate need.

Burnt out next to the Stop House

As we pulled away we passed NB Waka Huia, the crew all inside playing cards. Hope their onward journey isn’t a damp one. We’d heard that Braunston was quite busy, not many spaces to be had yesterday, so as spaces showed themselves we gambled at trying a bit further on. In the end we got a space one boat away from the water point at the Stop House. This space was made to measure with only a couple of inches spare. Almost straight ropes meant the need for a spring line so that we wouldn’t be bumping into our neighbours with every passing boat.

Over the bridge and up the hill for Bangers

Both being a little bit damp we decided to head straight up into the village for our newspaper. Blue geraniums border Butchers Bridge at the moment. Our garden in Scarborough used to overflow with them at this time of year, until our tenants decided that they were weeds! But they are hardy and when we last went to have a look they were fighting back.

Today Braunston Butchers had some gluten free sausages in the freezer, so we’ll give them a go in a couple of days. They can defrost in the fridge and wait to be consumed. Lets see if they are anything like Braunston Bangers!

Tradline

We also visited Tradline. A couple of years ago we bought a full set of ropes for Oleanna a touch thicker than the normal 12 or 14mm thick. The grip in my right hand has improved over the last couple of years but having chunkier ropes is still a good thing. Our ropes are showing their age and usage, still serviceable but as we’re heading onto rivers this summer we thought we’d treat Oleanna.

The chap showed us various ropes which I got to handle, 16mm blue was our choice. He’d make them up for us this afternoon to be collected just before 4pm. We also bought a couple of soft shackles which attach our centre lines to the ring on the roof. Our first one had been looking worn a couple of months ago so we’d replaced it. Sods law would be that it would give at a really bad moment, so better safe than waving Oleanna goodbye! So now we have spares to last us a few more years.

Just why won’t it come the full way out?!

Mick mopped out the freezer. Then we tried to pull the drawer out to remove it. This proved impossible. The drawer runners have little things that you push up and down which release the drawer, but to be able to do this you need to pull the drawer out far enough,which we couldn’t! We need a square ended screw driver to try removing the back of the drawer, this should then mean we can get the freezer out and have more chance of seeing what the problem is. We know what it is, condensation, we need to do something about it.

New ropes and shackles

During the afternoon the rain subsided and yes it got a bit windy, but nowhere near as bad as had been forecast. By the time Mick had picked up our new ropes it was a touch too late to set off for the locks. So tomorrow we hope the forecast is correct as we aim to go up Braunston Locks and down Long Buckby. Fingers crossed.

0 locks, 1.29 miles, 1 straight on, 0 returned pin, 0 coal, 58ft 9inches squeeze, 1 paper, 6 sausages, 2 ten meter ropes, 1 twelve meter rope, 2 soft shackles, 2nd colour, 1 stubborn freezer.

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