Friday, 26 December 2008

Christmas Cruise - Day 8

Boxing Day dawned as the brightest, and coldest, day of the trip. The fire also proved to be more difficult to revive! Porridge for breakfast, then we slipped away from our mooring just after 8.30. it was a beautiful morning, with clear blue skies and lovely sunshine. We arrived at the top of the locks at Marston Doles at just after 10, and found ourselves following a hire boat down. The pound below the top lock was very short of water, and the boat was only just afloat. There were quite a few walkers on the tow path, and it reminded me of Boxing Day last year, when we did exactly the same trip. I even seem to have taken exactly the same photo!

We passed a couple of boats coming up, including one in the bottom lock. At the end of the flight, we stopped at the water point to fill the tank and visit the little shop. They had no fresh bread, but did have some part-baked rolls. Once the tank was full, we moved round the corner and moored up for lunch. We put the rolls in the oven, and filled them with turkey, cranberry, and onions. While we were there, we spotted Ten Bob Note coming towards us and Ernie pulled alongside for a chat.

After lunch, we set off again, turning left at Wigram's Turn onto the Grand Union. A boat was just leaving the top lock, so we had to turn it. Once it was ready, a boat arrived to share; then it turned out that the single boat ahead was waiting in the second lock for us, so we shared the next two locks with them. We recognised the boat, Prairie Crocus, as we'd met the Canadian owners at Braunston a couple of years ago, and noticed a few weeks ago that the boat was up for sale. Today, it was in the hands of its new owners, taking the boat to its new mooring at Knowle.

We ended the day moored up just before Bridge 21 and Stockton Top Marina, ready for our departure tomorrow. No doubt there'll be more leftover turkey to eat tonight.

11 miles, 12 locks. (77 miles, 40 locks)

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