Monday, 5 June 2017

Long, Long Day

(Boat Flamingo - posted by Alan)
Retrospective post for Friday 2nd June


Three Locks on a gorgeous day.
We actually had no definite need to put in anything like such a long day as we actually ended up doing.  We really only planned to do at least half of the remaining trip back to base, and once we were not far North of Cosgrove we had probably already achieved that.

However by the time we were where we could legitimately have called it a day, we realised that we could easily press on to the bottom of the Stoke Bruerne flight, so we decided to do just that.  A friend that we met at Cosgrove lock assured us that these days there is invariably space on the moorings at the bottom of the Stoke Bruerne flight.

Three locks
So we pressed on, but when we arrived there two boats were just taking up the final moorings that were available.  Not too deterred we though we will just push on up five locks to the "long pound" - surely there would be space there?











And Three Locks yet again

About 4 locks up, our friend Barry was cycling down on his way to the services at the bottom of the flight, with a toilet cassette in a natty little trailer.  He wasn't sure the only space he had spotted in the long pound could accept a seventy footer.  Needless to say, when we got there, there was nothing approaching a suitable space.  Now very tired, options were running out, but we had little choice but to do the remaining two locks of the flight, despite being warned of no space at the top.  Maybe we could moor alongside the museum's boat Sculptor - we have been told in the past that we can.  However Sculptor proved to be facing South, and had we moored alongside it, the point the dogs need to get on and off would have been opposite its open hold - so not a possibility.


Working our way up Stoke Bruerne locks
Fearing there might be no other moorings we contemplated mooring on the bollards just South of trip boat Charlie's mooring - not ideal, although another boat subsequently did just that.  Then someone said a boat was pulling out further up - some people I think like to tackle the tunnel at the end of the day, when it is not so busy.  We quickly moved up there, and it proved ideal.

The engine had run continuously for 11 hours - about an hour longer than CanalPlanAC shows with our settings that are too optimistic for travelling with Flamingo - I really must tweak them to something that reflects reality!

I promised Cath a pub meal, and we went to the Boat, where I have to be fair and say the food was considerably better than other recent experiences we have had there.  We were joined for the evening by our friends Barry and Jan - always a pleasure, despite Barry persuading that by far the strongest beer on tap was the one to switch to.  Strong it definitely was!



Above Stoke Hammond Three Locks to Stoke Bruerne
Miles: 22.1, Locks: 13
Total Trip Miles: 185.1, Locks: 138

2 comments:

  1. It was good to see you the other day, even if my confident prediction of spaces at Stoke Bruerne were a bit off! We've been through a few times in the past few weeks, and there has been masses of space bottom, middle, and top. I've posted an action shot of Flamingo on my blog.

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  2. Hi Adam,
    The Stoke Bruerne situation was unprecedented from any of our recent experiences, so finding it near full was not something I could have predicted.
    Actually it is good to see boats back there in large numbers after the misjudged mooring restriction signs have seemed for some years to have made people reluctant to stop there.
    We do know that at least one local cruising club had several boats there returning from a cruise up the Ashby, so that swelled numbers. Also some of the moorings were unavailable due to CRT work boats tied up there installing mooring rings. (I'm really not sure about the logic of installing rings where there is perfectly good piling that will accept goat's chains - I'd rather see it go in at popular locations that have soggy banks, and no possibility to use chains!)

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