Saturday, 14 March 2015

Possibly our last ever locks wih "Chalice"?

(Boat Chalice - posted by Alan)

Approaching re-opened Bridge no 84 at Woolstone.
After a distinctly relaxed day yesterday, and with confirmation that the closed bridge at Woolstone was now finally open, we felt we really needed to put in a fuller day today. Up until now wev had not had a lot of control over the timetable, and could anyway have been not much more than an hour further on in our journey, because of that stoppage.

Still very much "work in progress"
Unlike when we started on Thursday there were now quite a few boats moving, several going past before we got started.  When I did get ready to go, a particularly slow and wide boat was approaching, but although I knew he would be far slower than us, I wasn't going to push off just as he was getting very close.  Fortunately he clearly recognised he was slow, and as we passed under the first bridge of the day, we found him pulled over ready to let us past.

Steerer well wrapped up against the cold.
After this progress was good, and other than a few warning signs there were no impediments to passing through the bridge that had resulted in such a long stoppage.  However it is very obvious that the works are yet nothing like complete, so lets hope nobody does anything that damages things before the several holes that now need infilling are actually attended to.

Approaching Wolverton
Somewhat unusually before Wolverton Odin made it fairly clear he wanted to be let off the boat, so Cath pulled over to let me an Odin off.  I continued to walk him up past the train mural approaching Wolverton, and on through the recent developments where some parts of the former railway carriage works  have been incorporated.

Only a small part of the "train" mural.
Then onwards to Cosgrove, where a Canal Boat Club hire crew made a bad enough approach to share the lock that we were already in to take off some of the newly replaced paint on our upper hull sides.  Not all our sprucing up of Chalice has even managed to survive a short trip North!

Wolverton, incorporating parts of railway carriage works,
The day got progressively chillier, so Cath and I were each taking relatively short perids at the tiller, and certainly not complaining when stood down by each other, allowing us to go inside to warm up.

At Stoke Bruerne locks a boat had clearly just gone up through the bottom lock before we arrived, but fortunately they were only at the next lock, so waited and allowed us to catch up and share the remainder.  A nice easy passage followed, with ample crew available, such that locks were being set in advance.

Could this really be the last lock we ever take Chalice through?
It seemed very odd to me as we passed through the top lock of the flight that it is quite possible after 10 years of ownership that we may never take Chalice though another lock.  Well more than "odd" actually - I'm quite sentimental about it, even though she is not yet being marketed.

Using the water point outside the Boat inn gave me access to the side of the boat where the paint still needs cleaning up, so I got on with that as the water tank filled.  I couldn't quite believe how windy it was though!

We then moved on to the regular moorings, and whilst I took Odin for another walk, Cath added some further paint to doors and hatches.

Sadly we have not really been impressed by meals at the Boat for a while, so elected for the Navigation instead, and it was really rather good.  A shame when a Marstons chain pub consistently does better than somewhere that has been run by the same family for generations, but to some extent the Boat really does seem happy to just rely on its history and prime location, but to not actually try that hard.

Fenny Stratford to Stoke Bruerne
Miles: 18.0, Locks: 8
Trip totals: Miles: 33.4, Locks: 23

1 comment:

  1. With regard to your last paragraph, I am glad I am not the only person to think that.


We have (finally!) been alerted to the fact that many people have been unable to post comments on this blog. (It seemed a bit odd, as people used to, but it has stopped occurring). We have changed some settings, so hopefully now possible again. Comments will be moderated, and you will need to enter word verification.