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Boat Blog: Mooching (back) along the Grand Union (9)

Posted by indigodream on 8 May, 2013

Friday 3rd May

Stoke Bruerne (top lock) to Thrupp Wharf (Cosgrove)

Greyhounds rule at Stoke Bruerne! Brindle Daisy and just hidden, white/brindle grumpy old girl, Crystal, and ourOllie- he does like the ladies!

Greyhounds rule at Stoke Bruerne! Brindle Daisy and just hidden, white/brindle grumpy old girl, Crystal, and our Ollie of course – he does like the ladies!

We got onto the road by 2.30pm today in a vain attempt not to get stuck on the M25 – it was yet another tedious trip, thought the M1 was great! This meant that it was nigh on 5.30pm by the time we parked up in the museum car park at Stoke Bruerne. We got the boat loaded – she’d been fine on the moorings.

We were delighted to see nb Parisien Star moored up a few boat lengths in front of us – I’ve been hoping to meet Mick and Elly for ages, having followed their journey from living in Australia to boating here. Sadly they weren’t in, but I hope there will be other opportunities to meet them.

We moved Indigo Dream a little nearer to the car park – I’ve had a busy week of jam making and had 42 jars to donate to the Wendover Arm Trust – it was quite a weight for Richard to carry from car to boat! For the uninitiated, I have extremely prolific fruit trees in my garden, so every year I make 600 -800 pots of jam which I donate to charity – usually to Greyhoundhomer, but I will happily divert a few jars to other favourite causes 🙂

After last week’s epic cruise, the boat seemed a little quiet with just two greyhounds on board! Happily we did meet another two from the boat moored behind us – Stoke Bruerne is greyhound central!

We had promised the moorings officer that we would move through the flight today so we set out after 6pm – it was a fine evening for a cruise and we’d have the daylight until nigh on 8pm. We set off, having no trouble moving out because the brisk wind was more than happy to help! We got through top lock, then as I pulled in to wait for Richard at the second lock, he said there was a hire boat approaching the top lock – he’d asked them whether they wanted us to wait for them – they said “yes”. Sadly we waited the best part of half an hour before they came down top lock. We got off to an uncomfortable start – I got on fine with the hire boat’s helmsman, who was a cheerful sort, but Richard got off to a bad start with the shore crew. Firstly they were quite cross when he sent them back to close the bottom lock gates behind them; he then got on with working his side of the locks but a couple of locks down, he was berated for spoiling the children’s holiday. They’d wanted to do all the lock work themselves and they felt that Richard was doing too much! It was such a shame – if we’d known they’d wanted to do all the work we wouldn’t have waited for them – sigh!

Above Stoke Bruerne top lock - one of my favourite canal villages...

Above Stoke Bruerne top lock – one of my favourite canal villages…

In the meantime, I taught the helmsman how to do tandem manoeuvres through the flight – he was very game and was experienced enough to get the hang of it quite quickly, despite the wind. I hope he picks up some of the photos – he seemed thrilled to be learning something new.

We got to the bottom of the flight just after 7pm and, in a novel swap, I walked back up the flight to get the car while Richard moved the boat towards our planned destination – Thrupp Wharf.

Predictably, I got to the Navigation Inn (overlooking Thrupp Marina) first and found a comfortable table in a quiet corned with plenty of room for the hounds (when they arrived). Looking from above, I had though that Richard would have room to moor between the single moored boat on the towpath and the winding hole. When he arrived, he stopped there to check it out before committing to go through the bridge and got shouted at by a resident across the water who made it clear that he couldn’t moor there – poor Richard he had already worked that out, he wasn’t having a good evening! He moored just beyond the bridge and joined me for a consolatory pint! We were very impressed with the Navigation Inn – the service was friendly and efficient and the food was good pub fare; we sat in the games room, which is very spacious and had plenty of room for Ty and Ollie to stretch out on their sheepskins. As usual, they got a lot of attention from fellow diners – Ollie lapped it up; Ty cowered in a corner – he was been hyper-vigilant this evening – I haven’t seen him this agitated for some years but he did feel able to wee so we were still ahead of the game!

Photoblog:

Looking back up towards top lock at Stoke Bruerne...

Looking back up towards top lock at Stoke Bruerne…

Ollie getting settled at the Navigation Inn...

Ollie getting settled at the Navigation Inn…

Ty wasn't so sure about the pub though..

Ty wasn’t so sure about the pub though..

Tandem moves - with a hire boat - it was my idea and the chap was very game to give it a go. I'm going to post a few of these photos - I gave the crew directions for the blog so I hope they'll pick up the photos...

Tandem moves (1) – with a hire boat – it was my idea and the chap was very game to give it a go.

I'm going to post a few of these photos - I gave the crew directions for the blog so I hope they'll pick up the photos...

Tandem moves (2)

Tandem moves (3)

Tandem moves (3)

Tandem moves (4)

Tandem moves (4)

Tandem moves (5)

Tandem moves (5)

Tandem moves (6) - coming together...

Tandem moves (6) – coming together…

Tandem moves (7) - almost there....

Tandem moves (7) – almost there….

Tandem moves (8) - and we're in!

Tandem moves (8) – and we’re in!

One Response to “Boat Blog: Mooching (back) along the Grand Union (9)”

  1. Adam said

    We liked the Navigation too — much better food the the Galleon over the aqueduct.

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