It was a wonderful day for moving on, and we took turns to walk all the way from Cosgrove to the foot of the Stoke Bruerne locks. We passed several boats on the move so there is definitely more traffic than there has been for some time.
We arrived at the bottom of the Stoke Bruerne Locks just after 12.00 and made a quick sandwich lunch while we waited for another boat to come along. Water was pouring over the bottom gate of the first lock. In no time at all NB Ophelia, a shared boat, arrived to travel up with us, and a single hander descended the lock so all the omens were good. While the boats were rising in the fourth lock Alan went up and raised the paddles to prepare the fifth lock (he checked and couldn’t see any boats coming towards the lock). We were exiting our lock when we looked up and saw that a boat had arrived to descend the lock above. They weren’t waiting for us to come up and had started to fill the lock, without dropping any of the bottom gate paddles! Alan ran up as far as he could waving his arms and shouting and we pounded on the boat horns. After what seemed a very long time the paddles were dropped and we were able to enter the lock.
After mooring at Stoke Bruerne we walked up to the tunnel mouth and back on the woodland walk, admiring the wire sculptures. Then we went down past the locks and through the nature reserve on the site of the former brick works that provided the bricks to build the locks and the tunnel. There were little mounds everywhere which completely puzzled us.
On our way back to the boat we stopped to watch the rabbit in the field behind the moorings, great favourites every time we are here. Today they were particularly skittish chasing each other and diving under the fence from one field to another. Two pheasants crossed the field between the sheep and from a distance it looked as though they were gliding on wheels. A lovely day to be out on the water.
Today we did 7.01 Miles 8 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2198.99 Miles, 1282 Locks, 122 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels