Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
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1999 Main Voyage - May

Cruising Log Index

River Nene

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Thursday 20th May 1999

From to Warmington Lock No 31 arriving at 5:15 pm. The time taken was 7 hours 30 minutes. 17.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.17 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 7 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 17.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.17 lock/miles per hour.

Started off in glorious weather, stopped on the embankment briefly to dump the rubbish. Met a Nb Polly Perkins at Orton Lock. Had lunch on the move. Moored at Fotheringhay. Marie Stella from Middlewich moored in front of us, they are going to Cambridge. A sunny day but a cloudy evening.

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Friday 21st May 1999

From Warmington Lock No 31 to Ashton Lock No 28 arriving at 12:40 am. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 6.37 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.75 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 10 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 24.12 miles and 9 locks, averaging 3.31 lock/miles per hour.

Set off from Fotheringhay and saw a kingfisher above Perio Lock. Have already seen many clutches of baby ducks, Canada Geese and Swans on this trip. Stopped for lunch above the lock and did an oil/filter change. Did not cruise this afternoon because of the strong wind. A cloudy day with a shower or two this afternoon but some sun this evening.

Saturday 22nd May 1999

From Ashton Lock No 28 to Islip Lock No 22 arriving at 1:25 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 15 minutes. 10.62 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.91 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 14 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 34.75 miles and 15 locks, averaging 3.49 lock/miles per hour.

Met some cruisers coming down through Upper Barnwell Lock then caught up with Southern Comfort at Lilford Lock, he waited for us in Wadenhoe Lock. Saw a kingfisher above the lock and 3 Lapwings today. Moored on the Middle Nene Sailing Club Moorings for lunch etc. A mostly sunny day but windy.

Sunday 23rd May 1999

From Islip Lock No 22 to Irthlingborough Lock No 17 arriving at 2:50 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 7.75 miles and 5 locks, averaging 3.33 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 18 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 42.5 miles and 20 locks, averaging 3.46 lock/miles per hour.

Had a walk round Thrapston and Islip before setting off. Met a lot of boats today, cruisers and narrowboats, mostly coming down the river. Had lunch on the move and moored on the visitor moorings at Irthlingborough. A mostly cloudy day, dry and a bit windy.

Monday 24th May 1999

From Irthlingborough Lock No 17 to Wellingborough Bridge arriving at 11:55 am. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 5.75 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.9 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 20 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 48.25 miles and 24 locks, averaging 3.51 lock/miles per hour.

Saw two kingfishers between Higham and Dichford locks. Stopped for water but the tap yeilded only a trickle so we couldn't fill up. Beryl went shopping at Tesco's then we had lunch.

From Wellingborough Bridge to Cogenhoe Lock No 7 arriving at 5:30 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 6.62 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.29 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 24 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 54.87 miles and 30 locks, averaging 3.48 lock/miles per hour.

Came up and moored above the lock, next to Elander B and Glendale from SIBC. Had dinner at the Royal Oak (Plaice 4.25, Gammon 5.50). A mostly cloudy day with a fair bit of wind.

Tuesday 25th May 1999

From Cogenhoe Lock No 7 to Northampton Lock No 1 arriving at 12:25 am. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 5.87 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.75 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 27 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 60.75 miles and 36 locks, averaging 3.51 lock/miles per hour.

Came up through the locks meeting a cruiser at Clifford Hill and the St. John Crusader at Abington. Saw a kingfisher. Stopped at the service pontoon below the lock but could not open the water tap. Stopped by Morrison's for lunch and shopping.

River Nene to Grand Union Northampton Branch

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From Northampton Lock No 1 to Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock No 13 arriving at 5:40 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 55 minutes. 3.5 miles and 5 locks, averaging 4.43 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 29 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 64.25 miles and 41 locks, averaging 3.57 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the arm and moored between the aqueduct and the bottom lock, amoungst the reeds. A day of sunshine and cloud with a stiff breeze at times.

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Wednesday 26th May 1999

From Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock No 13 to Gayton Junction arriving at 11:45 am. The time taken was 2 hours 5 minutes. 1.62 miles and 13 locks, averaging 7.02 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 31 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 65.87 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.8 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the Rothersthrorpe Locks passing two Willow Wren boats full of school children. Most of the locks in our favour. A lot of bricks beside the locks and the BW men told me they were rebuilding two of the lock chamber walls this year. Moored for water at the junction alongside Dash, from Birmingham, they are going down the Nene to the Cam and Ouse.

Grand Union Northampton Branch to Grand Union Main Line

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From Gayton Junction to Wright's Lane Bridge No 45 arriving at 1:00 pm. The time taken was 20 minutes. 1.12 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.36 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 31 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 67 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.79 lock/miles per hour.

Went on a little way then stopped for lunch just past bridge 46.

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From Wright's Lane Bridge No 45 to Heyford Bridge No 32 arriving at 3:30 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 30 minutes. 3.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 33 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 70.75 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.73 lock/miles per hour.

We planned to stop at Bugbrooke but there was no mooring space there so we came on to here and moored. After we had stopped Bittell and Earlswood, the hotel boats we had seen at Blackburn, came past. Went to The Olde Sun for dinner (Plaice 6.75, Minted Lamb 8.25, Treacle Sponge and Ice cream Sundae 1.50 each). A sunny morning and a cloudy afternoon.

Thursday 27th May 1999

From Heyford Bridge No 32 to Welton Bridge No 6 arriving at 1:45 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 20 minutes. 9 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.69 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 37 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 79.75 miles and 61 locks, averaging 3.73 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the Buckby flight with Briarose, a couple from New Zealand. Moored before we came in sight of the tunnel for lunch etc. A warm Sunny day.

Friday 28th May 1999

From Welton Bridge No 6 to Wolfhampcote arriving at 12:15 am. The time taken was 2 hours 50 minutes. 3.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.44 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 40 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 83.5 miles and 67 locks, averaging 3.71 lock/miles per hour.

Came through the tunnel by ourselves and down the locks, meeting a few boats coming up the flight. Slowly through Braunston and along the Puddlebank, everywhere being full of boats ready for the show. Moored for lunch between bridges 100 and 101, just before the old railway line.

Grand Union Main Line to Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

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From Wolfhampcote to Napton Bridge No 111 arriving at 3:30 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 25 minutes. 5.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.71 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 42 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 88.75 miles and 67 locks, averaging 3.71 lock/miles per hour.

Met quite a few boats on the journey down to Napton. Moored before the Napton Bridge Inn. Had dinner at the pub (Fish and chips 5.95, Thai Chicken Curry 6,95, Raspberry Pavlova 2.50 each). A mostly cloudy day and rather windy this afternoon.

Related Waterways click to see more details of the waterway - including the table of distances.

Saturday 29th May 1999

From Napton Bridge No 111 to Napton Bottom Lock No 8 arriving at 81:5 pm. The time taken was 35 minutes. 1.25 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.86 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 42 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 90 miles and 68 locks, averaging 3.71 lock/miles per hour.

Stopped for water at the bottom of the locks.

From Napton Bottom Lock No 8 to Priors Hardwick Bridge No 123 arriving at 12:40 am. The time taken was 2 hours 40 minutes. 3 miles and 8 locks, averaging 4.13 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 45 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 93 miles and 76 locks, averaging 3.73 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the locks with boats in front and behind us. Spoke to Ken Froud at the lock by the Engine Arm. Stopped for lunch just past the bridge.Priors Hardwick Bridge No 123: Boat and swan with cygnets - 29th May 1999.
Priors Hardwick Bridge No 123: Boat and swan with cygnets - 29th May 1999.

Saturday 29th May 1999

From Priors Hardwick Bridge No 123 to Fenny Compton Wharf arriving at 4:55 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 15 minutes. 6.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.78 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 47 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 99.25 miles and 76 locks, averaging 3.69 lock/miles per hour.

Set off just in front of the Willow Wren hire boat Warbler but they were going faster than us on the straighter parts so I let them go ahead. They had a lot of difficulties on the sharp bends so we kept catching them up. Moored past the pub just before the rain started. A mostly sunny day with heavy thundery showers in the evening.

Sunday 30th May 1999

From Fenny Compton Wharf to Cropredy Lock No 25 arriving at 5:15 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 15 minutes. 6.25 miles and 9 locks, averaging 4.69 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 50 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 85 locks, averaging 3.65 lock/miles per hour.

Stayed at Fenny all morning due to the rain. Set off after lunch. Saw Bernard Henderson walking up the Clayton Flight, his boat, Mulled Wine, was moored at the bottom of the locks. Found a space at the end of the visitor moorings above the lock and stopped just before the rain started again. Had dinner at the Red Lion (Plaice 5.25, Gammon Steak 7.50). Bernard Henderson and his family sat at the next table to us. A cloudy day with showers.

Monday 31st May 1999

From Cropredy Lock No 25 to Grimsbury Wharf arriving at 12:40 am. The time taken was 3 hours 5 minutes. 3.75 miles and 3 locks, averaging 2.19 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 53 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 88 locks, averaging 3.49 lock/miles per hour.

A slow journey down, queues at the locks. Stopped by Tesco's where we had lunch (Chicken Madras 3.45, Sausage & chips 1.99) and did our shopping.

From Grimsbury Wharf to Banbury Lock No 29 arriving at 3:40 pm. The time taken was 55 minutes. 0.75 miles and 1 locks, averaging 1.91 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 54 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 89 locks, averaging 3.45 lock/miles per hour.

Queued for the lock then stopped for water at the new sanitary station below the lock.

From Banbury Lock No 29 to Twyford Bridge No 177 arriving at 6:20 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 10 minutes. 2.75 miles and 1 locks, averaging 1.73 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 56 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 90 locks, averaging 3.34 lock/miles per hour.

We were fifth in the queue for Grants Lock, which is deep and slow filling. Moored just before the bridge. A cloudy but dry day.

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List