Monday, 14 May 2018

It should have been an easy day - but somehow it wasn't.

(With both boats - posted by Alan)

First lock of this trip.
A slower start today than we should have made, had we realised how long the day's travels would actually take.  The canal planner we use, (CanalPlanAC), indicated something like seven and a half hours to get to where we are now - the reality was more like nine hours.  We are finding we are not that slick at working both boats together again for the first time in a long while.  In particular we seem to have a habit of trying to moor where "Flamingo" will not come close enough to the bank, and it seems no matter how slowly we make the attempt "Flamingo" is very able to become grounded in a way that takes a lot more effort than we would like to get going again.

The dogs are getting quite good when they are told to stay down.
Curiously some areas are intensely busy, others massively less so.  For example there was no viable mooring space anywhere between Cosgrove lock and the Wolverton Trunk Aqueduct.  There was however space that was definitely non-viable for mooring deep draughted boats - as we proved very conclusively!  However here at Fenny Stratford - usually very popular, there are very few visiting boats at all.

We generally use Flamingo as the towing boat when breasted up.
Both boats have held up well, although we are a little surprised that with me leading on "Flamingo", Cath has on occasions found it hard to keep up with ne on "Sickle".  We tend to think of "Sickle" as the faster boat, but not always it seems.

Approaching the last of 7 Stoke Bruerne locks.
Given how much longer today has taken than plan, we are now a little concerned that the target we have set ourselves for tomorrow may prove too much for us - today wasn't supposed to be a hard day!

Cosgrove lock.

Cath leads on Sickle across the aqueduct.

The steerer is a long way away if you are on the front of Flamingo.

Flamingo overtakes Sickle, as we often find it easier with Flamingo in front.

Stoke Bruerne to Fenny Stratford
Miles per boat: 17.5, Miles both boats: 35.0, Locks: 8
Total Trip Miles: 54.7, Locks: 8

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