We like the events at Stoke Bruerne, and like last year have already visited the main canal Gala earlier in the year, but particularly wanted to also repeat the rather charming "Village at War" event.
We had booked in to it some time back, but this weekend was also when Cath's Mum would celebate her 80th birthday, so a bit of "flexibility" and a fair amount of rushing about was to be required to put in an appearance at both!
|Starting off up the flight - waiting for the coal boats in the next lock.|
|"Southern Cross" and "Sickle"|
|Trying to have a conversation over the Listers|
Eventually I decided I need to make a start behind them, if we were not to arrive at te top in total darkness, but shortly after I set off alone, not only did Cath arrive, but also Adam from "Briar Rose" who had offered to help me up the locks earlier. Whilst "Towcester" and "Bideford" worked ahead of us, "Southern Cross" held back, so we could go up together.
|This gives an idea how much "Sickle" was shortened!|
We were fortunate it was nearly a full moon, and with clear skies, because well before the top lock we were delayed enough that otherwise it was well after night-fall. Fortunately the largely reserved moorings at the top meant we had little difficulty to find a suitable slot for Sickle's modest forty foot length.
We have joked before that "The Boat" pub is as close as Cath and I come to having a regularly visited local. Not wishing to spoil this tradition, we once again ate there, washing it down with the usual "Frog Island" (me) and Thatcher's cider (Cath).
Frankly by this stage I was knackered - although I'm able to move the boat around largely on my own for much of the mileage, "Sickle" does tend to make you feel you have had a good work-out! None the less, we had made it, and now only had to worry about the fact we had a party many miles away to fit in as well as being at Stoke!
Fenny Stratford to Stoke Bruerne
Miles: 18.3, Locks: 8