I Read That Blog Too! 9th August

Bridge 67 that was to Welton Hythe, Leicester Section, Grand Union Canal

Leg inspection this morning

Time to make up for yesterday, we were ready and pushing off a little before 9:30, several boats had already passed us heading towards the locks, would there be a queue? Thankfully not. The volunteers were chatting to a chap and his dog at the bottom lock the lefthand chamber sat ready for us.

Up the bottom lock

At the middle lock it looked like both of the paired locks were full, a crew just opening a gate on the right side to bring a boat down, I indicated to Mick to head for that lock. However on arrival the other lock was two thirds full and the boat coming into the other lock were being very very careful and taking their time. I indicated to Mick the other lock and emptied it. We were up and able to assist the crew of the downhill boat with their gates before we headed on to the top lock.


Once up on the long pound I disappeared below for a panto chat with the production manager regarding the budget. More quotes were in and she was aiming to have a chat with the set builders about the changes I’d drawn up over the weekend. In my reckoning we’ve saved just about enough, but there was still one more quote to come in. Gemma is hoping to get the final figures together and approved by the end of the week, she goes on holiday next week, I’d quite like my next fee, but I’m also likely to be in a dodgy area for phone and the internet! Fingers crossed.

It was so nice to have the sun back out and blue skies helping to lift spirits. Plenty of people were out sanding back, applying coats of paint to their roofs. I’d been hoping to do the same last weekend, but the rain and having to work had put paid to that.

B.. Ba.. Bang… Braunston!

We considered stopping at one of the moorings just short of Braunston, but that would still leave us behind where we were hoping to be, and anyway that would mean taking mushroom vents off the roof to attack the rust! Mick thought it a better idea for us to carry on.

There was space for a second boat at the first water point, we pulled in, tying up as best we could. The lady from the other boat explained that her husband had headed into the village to do some shopping whilst they filled with water, ‘You know how it is mooring in Braunston, so busy!’ We declined her offer of us using the tap she was plumbed into as there was a second tap. As we started to fill her boat started to overflow, she turned the water point off, her expanding hose then decided to pop out of her tank and into the canal. Eek! ‘You’ll want to run water through that before you stow it away’. She dithered and chatted away, then just popped the end of the hose back into her water tank, eoow! The muck and stuff that ends up in canals, I hope they don’t get poorly tummies.

Braunston Turn

Chores finished we pushed over to the towpath where there was a handy space for lunch.

Through Braunston. Well there had either been a mass exodus since the boat at the waterpoint had come through or she was just trying to cover her back for sitting on a water point! We slowed at the entrance to the marina having spotted NB Pea Green and Kay. She’d been concerned about Tilly and there is always concern for Monty her cat who is of many years. Good to see her again.

The bottom lock of the Braunston flight was emptying, I walked up to lend a hand. The crews from the two boats had obviously got to know each other, both heading for Cropredy. One boat was under the impression they’d just be able to moor up easily at Cropredy, I said to the enthusiastic lady that a week ago it was already rather full. She said she’d read a blog post on the 1st of August saying as much. I smiled to myself strongly suspecting they were my words she’d read. I refrained from saying that I’d read that blog too, I always proofread posts before publishing them. Instead I was given information on how wet Blisworth Tunnel had been. I wonder is she is a frequent reader or had just come across my post in a google search.

We were joined by a hire boat from North Kilworth Marina. This boat had a bow thruster and a solar panel, things not often associated with hire boats. This was their second hire boat and they were loving. They made good company up the flight.

The second lock that was hard to fill

The third lock from the top required the top gates to be encouraged to open as we’d reached the point where the water coming in wasn’t beating the water leaking out the bottom gates. With the next pound quite low we decided to close the top gates to hopefully save water even thought there was a boat waiting to come down above the next lock. I walked up to explain as they were doing that thing we all do when we see gates being closed in front of you. Thankfully they understood.

The next lock was even worse. We needed everyone to push on gates to get the level to equalise, this took quite a bit of umph, we got there in the end still with enough water left in the pound above for boats to move. The amount of time this had all taken, it was a very good job we’d closed the gates on the next lock as there may not have been enough water left to get over cills.

The hire boat headed for the tunnel first, they were hoping to get up Watford today. We were just heading for where we’d be able to get moored for the day.

Tunnel mode engaged, cabin lights, torch at the stern pointing to the right, life jackets. In we went, Mick’s least favourite tunnel on the network. We conferred on where the big wiggle was 400 to 300m from the far end? We thought so. In we went.


It was soon obvious that we’d meet at least two boats in the dark, we also got a bonus third one. A wiggle just at 400m was followed by another where we’d remembered. A forth boat was holding back being very patient to enter the tunnel when he knew there was a clear way ahead at least for a while. At least if he met someone it should be beyond the wiggles.

Blue sky and a view

Maybe we were distracted by passing boats but I only counted one mysteron today, I thought there were three!

Turning left to head northwards

Space under trees in the cutting, this didn’t appeal. We carried on knowing it was very unlikely that we’d find a space on the prime stretch before Norton Junction and we were right. Instead we decided to opt for our old favourite mooring, a left onto the Leicester Section then a short pootle to opposite Welton Hythe Marina.

Hooray for towpath dust!

Tilly was given an hour and a bit of shore leave. As she stepped off a slight limp was still noticeable, but nowhere near as bad as yesterday. A touch of towpath dust and mouse magic did the trick.

Down the bank into the field behind us Mick foundsome Giant Puffballs the size of his foot. I believed they were safe and good eating. Some internet browsing was down. Instructions on how to identify them suggested that they were easy, next to no poisonous fungi having a similar look. I started browsing recipes, cut in slices and fried in breadcrumbs was popular. What to do? I didn’t want to miss out of a free culinary delight, but also didn’t want us to be poorly.

That’s pretty big!

One minute I was down the bank picking one of them. I weighed it 1.5kg. It was obviously tasty as plenty of grubs were having a feast. I chopped some off. White with a tinge of yellow to it. Hmmmm! What to do?

Various comments suggested it should be white when cut into, if yellow it was starting to mature and get ready to send out it’s spores. Should we, shouldn’t we? In the end we chickened out, there being a bit of yellow would mean we’d not be trying it at it’s best. I later conferred with a couple of people who said white was best and maybe a smaller one would be better especially with some bacon for breakfast. One lady did say we’d be very bored with it by the time we’d eaten it all.


Tonight we had spaghetti bolognaise.

9 locks, 10.8 miles, 3 canals, 1 water tank full, 1 hose in the cut, 2 solutions, 2 boxes, 1 banana, 1 left, 1 old favourite, 1.5kg of puffball, 2 fungi wimps, 7,000,000,000,000 spores per ball, 1 limp improving, 1 Mrs Tilly stamp of approval.