|Leaving a strangely deserted Hillmorton Locks|
So today was definitely going to be more relaxed, and we were in no great rush to get going. Being moored close to the facilities in Braunston made it very easy to draw the boats forward several yards, and to take on water and deal with toilets.
|I head away from Hillmorton having just taken the above picture.|
Next I knew there were things I could usefully pick up at Midland Chandlers, so I motored on up to there with "Sickle", leaving Cath and David to come along a bit later with "Chalice". Fortunately, unlike my last visit, Midland were now actually aware that a small discount had actually been negotiated for Historic Narrow Boat Club members. I left, amongst other things now certain I had enough oil to do a much needed change on "Sickle".
|This hardly looks comfortable - he has a proper bed, but preferred this!|
|Most of the fancy lights in Newbold tunnel have long since expired.|
Curiously though at Hillmorton Locks, allegedly the most busy in the country, there were very few boats at all, and unlike previous years where we have had long waits to get into the locks at all, today we were straight away on our way down. Today a volunteer lock-keeper apperaed, and seemed happy to help lock David through single handed with "Chalice", whilst Cath and Odin stayed with me and "Sickle". Odin will happily cross the top end of these locks, despite a quite narrow walkway, and a significant gap to it, but hates using a boarding plank to get on the boats!
|Clocking up the lockless miles.|
I was loathing doing an oil change on "Sickle", and was right to do so! The job is just as unpleasant as I remembered it from last time. The pump on the engine will not prime, and when it does is very slow to pump out all the oil involved. The oil filter is inaccessible, both to remove, and to replace. After a long fight, I emerged with both me and engine room coated in oil, but, at least with "Chalice" travelling with us, I had the luxury of a shower!
Braunston to Essenhall Lane Bridge, Near Brinklow
Miles: 15.1 (Each Boat), Locks: 6 (3 twice!)
Total Miles: 124.9, Locks: 42