It was a relief to awake to a dry day, though grey and extremely windy. We wanted to get as far as Stoke Bruerne before the rain forecast for this afternoon, (which didn’t arrive in the end). Our rain jackets hadn’t dried out since yesterday and we have quite enough wet clothes drying round the place.
We took turns at steering and staying inside. This is a stretch of canal that we have passed along many times and on a wintry day there wasn’t any great impetus to take in the views. However it was interesting to see how little had changed since we last travelled these waters in March last year: the same boats moored in the same places, notably several former working boats that we have never seen moving over the years. The wind was blowing us around as we travelled along especially on exposed stretches.
We moored at Blisworth for lunch and I popped into the village for some milk. There must have been something on at the Chapel (maybe a funeral) and many strangers had headed for the Church which is easy to spot and couldn’t find the Chapel, which isn’t. Unfortunately they only had me to ask for directions, no help at all. Blisworth is actually a very attractive village with many thatched houses and the warehouse converted into apartments that overlooks the canal. I always think that I would like to explore further but we have never moored here overnight and always seem to be rushing on, as we were today with the rain to avoid and the fire to sort out before dark.
So it was on through the Blisworth Tunnel, 3076 yards which takes about 25 minutes, no boats met though there was one rushing through ahead of us, and to our present mooring at an almost deserted Stoke Bruerne. In fact there are less visiting boats here than I have ever seen before. We set to to pump the diesel through for the fire and managed to get quite a lot spilt around the base, which had to be cleaned up. Its always very difficult to do anything on a boat, you are always working in very hard to reach areas. If diesel is spilt around the fire it smells dreadful and makes us feel quite ill. The last time we had a bad spillage, and today’s is minor in comparison, I cleaned it many times with soapy water to no avail, and finally found that a good solution of bicarbonate of soda got rid of the smell, so I went straight to that today and it doesn’t seem too bad. It is very pleasant to have a fire on again after a couple of days without.
After all that we will pop along for an early evening pint at The Boat for old times sake. We first visited it on a boat trip with friends 33 years ago this month, when our daughter was three months old, and we have a picture of Alan bathing her in the boat sink while we were moored here. (We had hired the boat in Leighton Buzzard and managed to get to Blisworth and back in a week). There’s another picture of the grownups sitting on the lock gates next to The Boat. Now we are heading back to near home for the birth of her own second baby.
Today we did 10.12 Miles and 1 Tunnel (and 1 from Braunston a few days ago)
Statistics so far:-
2089.79 Miles, 1145 Locks, 118 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels