Partners. 30th April

Water Lane Bridge 9 to Evans Bridge 42

More locks today

Maybe if we’d not said hello to everyone on this mornings zoom we wouldn’t have ended up in the queue for the locks, but it’s always nice to see everyone and queues on canals always seem to work themselves out in the end.

Slotting in with the passing boats

We pushed off at around 10:30, waiting for a gap in passing boats. The stag do boats must have turned at the junction heading towards Watford or been lucky at the top of the Buckby flight as there was no sign of them.


Straight on for us to Long Buckby. Ahead of us a couple of boats were pulled up on the lock landings and one on the water point waiting to go down, we were following another boat and had to tread water for a while. Behind us at the junction a boat was turning out from the Leicester Section, someone in the bow who was more there for the photo opportunities than as a spotter, were they aware of another boat about to come through the bridge ready to broadside them?

Going down again

I hopped off to lend a hand with the two boats who were now going down, space now vacated at the lock landings. A lady on one boat said she was only doing the one lock, the hire boat she was with would wait for a boat from the next lock full. Behind us there were now at least another two boats treading water awaiting their turn.

A new partner

We shared the top lock with NB Black Swan before they joined the hire boat ahead. With no traffic coming uphill the lock was reset for us, crew from the boat behind arrived and we were waved on on our own. As the lock finished emptying a procession of three boats appeared above, someone must have pulled out from one of the moorings. We’d wait for someone at the next lock.

Oleanna and Jubilee

Here we started to meet uphill boats who informed us of plenty more behind them. The gates were left open expectant of more uphill boats whilst we waited for a new locking partner. Up they came and after a while of waiting (long enough for a comfort break and change of top) we were joined by NB Jubilee. Sorry we didn’t get your names.

Look at that sky!

The last locks of the flight we now shared, swapping with other boats coming uphill, there was time to chat and enjoy the sunshine. What a lovely day to be boating especially as we were now out of the holding queue.

Buckby Bottom Lock

At the bottom we could have pulled in for lunch, but not knowing how many moored boats there would be ahead to slow our progress we wanted to keep moving so as to reach Rubgy Boats before they closed for the day. So lunch was had on the move.

Bye bye Buckby

Plenty of traffic, by rail, road and canal. It’s a noisy stretch with the odd patch away from the faster travellers. We paused for me to head to Tescos in Weedon for a newspaper, thankfully all the really good bits were included with the paper today unlike last week!

A treat

Pulling in at Rugby Boats we filled the diesel tank, £1.40 a litre, bought 2 bags of coal (well it might snow before next weekend!) and some chilled medication which was enjoyed as we pulled away.

Hello again!!!!

More and more boats have loud music emanating from them. As we approached Bugbrooke music became very very loud indeed. Was this coming from a boat, had the bridge been installed with speakers. No there was a lady singing to backing tracks outside the pub, she was good, but we’d rather hear nature being noisy in the countryside so we pushed on, wanting to get a couple more miles ticked off before mooring anyway.

Our planned five hour day had extended and cat curfew was getting close. We ended up pulling in just after Bridge 42, the same place we’d stopped last year after being boarded by ants at Bugbrooke. Ahh peace and quiet! Well not really.

Confused sheep

The West Coast Main line thundered past every now and again, people heading off for the weekend. The sheep across the way were very vocal and then at one point all charged across the bridge behind us, their hooves clattering as they went. They were up there for ages as the farmer dealt with them one by one releasing them back into the field. Quite a few boats passed us, hire boats heading back to base for the morning at Gayton, others heading out and one quite late all the way from Wyvern, they were obviously on a mission!

We think this should be our boat!

7 locks, 10.49 miles, 4th in the queue, 2 Jubilees, 1 straight, 2 locking partners, 2 bags coal, 87 litres, 1 cornetto, 1 magnum, 2 Truckers going, 1 sheep stampede, 6mph, how did they do that!