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2001 Cruise - April

Cruising Log Index

River Nene

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Friday 20th April 2001

From to Warmington Lock No 31 arriving at 4:45 pm. The time taken was 8 hours 0 minutes. 18.75 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.22 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 8 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 18.75 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.22 lock/miles per hour.

Having finally heard yesterday that the Nene was at last open for navigation we set off up the river. Called briefly at the facilities on Peterborough embankment to dump some rubbish. Saw the first kingfisher of the voyage a little way past Railworld. We saw another above Orton Lock plus two Great Creasted Grebes and a mink with a fish in its mouth. Had lunch on the move and saw our third kingfisher above Wanstead Lock. Another narrowboat came out of Elton Lock just before we went in. We stopped at Fotheringhay for the night (2). A cold and windy day with a few sunny intervals. We had a lot of problems getting the boat on to the lock moorings because of the wind.

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Saturday 21st April 2001

From Warmington Lock No 31 to Islip Lock No 22 arriving at 3:05 pm. The time taken was 6 hours 25 minutes. 16 miles and 8 locks, averaging 3.74 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 14 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 34.75 miles and 15 locks, averaging 3.45 lock/miles per hour.

Saw two kingfishers one at Tansor and one above Upper Barnwell Lock. Also saw some curlews just past Wadenhoe. Went through Lower Barnwell Lock with Josophine, a narrowboat that moors above Ashton Lock. Had lunch on the move and moored at the Middle Nene Sailing Club. A fine day with sunshine and cloud.

Sunday 22nd April 2001

From Islip Lock No 22 to Wellingborough Bridge arriving at 3:50 pm. The time taken was 6 hours 55 minutes. 13.5 miles and 9 locks, averaging 3.25 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 21 hours 20 minutes. total cruising time, 48.25 miles and 24 locks, averaging 3.39 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a kingfisher below Lower Ringstead Lock. After leaving the lock we found that the electric gate control would not raise the gate, we tried twice then rang the Environment Agency. Had lunch on the move. Saw a Great Crested Grebe below Ditchford Lock. Had a lot of trouble getting through Higham Lock as the bottom guillotine gate was leaking badly. Met no boats on the move today but saw two narrowboats on the visitor moorings at Thrapsted and another two on the Irthlingborough moorings. A mostly cloudy day with some sunshine and some strong gusts.

Monday 23rd April 2001

From Wellingborough Bridge to Billing Lock No 6 arriving at 2:50 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 35 minutes. 8 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.27 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 25 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 56.25 miles and 31 locks, averaging 3.37 lock/miles per hour.

Set off from Wellingborough at 9.50 but stopped above Upper Wellingborough lock for 25 minutes to adjust one of the alternater belts - not with much success. Bumped the cratch on the bridge between Woolaston and Donnington locks as the strong stream on the bend swept us into the side. We sterilised our boots at each lock from Earls Barton as instructed by the Environment Agency. Had lunch on the move. Moored on the visitor landing stage in Billing Marina and changed the awkward back alternator belt. A cloudy morning with some rain but a dry and mostly sunny afternoon.

Tuesday 24th April 2001

From Billing Lock No 6 to South Bridge, Northampton arriving at 11:45 am. The time taken was 3 hours 10 minutes. 4.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.39 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 29 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 61 miles and 37 locks, averaging 3.37 lock/miles per hour.

Had a little bit of trouble getting on to the river from Billing Marina, I had to make a second attempt due to the strong stream. The reach between Weston Favell and Abington Lock was very low and we were stirring up mud even in the centre of the wide river channel. Stopped before the bridge and went to Morrisons for lunch and shopping.

River Nene to Grand Union Northampton Branch

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From South Bridge, Northampton to Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock No 13 arriving at 3:50 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 5 minutes. 3.25 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.48 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 31 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 64.25 miles and 41 locks, averaging 3.38 lock/miles per hour.

Came off the Nene and up the Northampton Branch. There was a notice at the bottom lock saying that lock 14 would be padlocked at 15.30. As we arrived at lock 14 it was 15.25 and the BW man emptied the lock for us as we arrived. We had to sign a list and were given some Steril Tabs as part of the Foot & Mouth precautions. We moored on the aqueduct. A wet day.

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Wednesday 25th April 2001

From Rothersthorpe Bottom Lock No 13 to Milton Road Bridge No 2, Gayton arriving at 11:20 am. The time taken was 2 hours 35 minutes. 1.5 miles and 13 locks, averaging 5.61 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 33 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 65.75 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.55 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the 13 locks to Gayton mostly in the rain. Stopped at Alvechurch Boats to get the Eberspacher exhaust pipe refitted and to get the Seapower alternater more firmly fixed (26.43). Had lunch while the job was being done.

Grand Union Northampton Branch to Grand Union Main Line

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From Milton Road Bridge No 2, Gayton to Weedon Station Bridge No 24 arriving at 4:50 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 50 minutes. 7.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.74 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 36 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 73.5 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.49 lock/miles per hour.

Moved down to Gayton Junction and filled with water (35 minutes) then set off up through Budbrooke. Stopped at Miller Marine at Stowe Hill to see if they had some AF spanners but they did not. Saw Lochinvar and Elementary as we left Stowe Hill. Moored on the visitor moorings above the bridge at Weedon. Sunshine and cloud this afternoon but dry, in contrast to our wet morning.

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Thursday 26th April 2001

From Weedon Station Bridge No 24 to Braunston Top Lock No 6 arriving at 12:35 am. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 8 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.91 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 40 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 81.5 miles and 61 locks, averaging 3.53 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a couple of small deer in the woods about a mile before Whilton Bottom Lock. Met quite a few boats comming down the locks as we went up -first two single boats then a pair and lastly Fazeley and Clover coming out of the penaultimate lock. Beryl did some shopping at the farm shop on the way up the flight. Stopped for lunch just before the top lock. A cloudy day with sunny intervals.

Grand Union Main Line to Oxford Canal (Northern Section)

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Friday 27th April 2001

From Braunston Top Lock No 6 to Braunston Junction arriving at 11:25 am. The time taken was 1 hour 50 minutes. 1.25 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.95 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 42 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 82.75 miles and 67 locks, averaging 3.54 lock/miles per hour.

Started off at 8.50 and came down the Braunston locks by ourselves and met no one coming up. Got to the marina for a pumpout (5) at 10.25. Then we filled with water by the stop house (15 minutes) and stopped to get fuel from Ivor Batchelor (107 litres, 30 which is 28p a litre). Finally moored opposite Midland Chandlers and went up to the village for shopping and lunch at the Old Plough (Jumbo Haddock 5.75, Vegetarian Schnitzel 5.75).

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From Braunston Junction to Clifton Wharf arriving at 4:55 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 20 minutes. 8.75 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.53 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 45 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 91.5 miles and 70 locks, averaging 3.54 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a few boats on the way down from Braunston and found two boats preceeding us down the Hillmorton Locks and another with us as we went through. Moored by the golf course just after bridge 68. A dry day with a lot of sunshine.

Oxford Canal (Northern Section) to Coventry Canal

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Saturday 28th April 2001

From Clifton Wharf to Hawkesbury Junction arriving at 1:50 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 30 minutes. 14 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.33 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 50 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 71 locks, averaging 3.41 lock/miles per hour.

Mostly cloudy with some sunny intervals for our trip down to the rest of the Northern Oxford Canal. Had lunch on the move and did not stop at the junction.

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From Hawkesbury Junction to Hartshill Wharf arriving at 4:40 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 50 minutes. 8.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3.09 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 52 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 71 locks, averaging 3.23 lock/miles per hour.

The weather continued mostly cloudy with some sunny periods but the wind increased and we had occasional showers as well. Moored just before the wharf.

Sunday 29th April 2001

From Hartshill Wharf to Fazeley Junction arriving at 3:35 pm. The time taken was 6 hours 45 minutes. 12.75 miles and 13 locks, averaging 3.81 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 59 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 84 locks, averaging 3.08 lock/miles per hour.

Saw a Sandpiper opposite the boat this morning before we set off. Came down the Atherstone locks behind Fandago and in front of a boat full of people being trained to take Girl Guides on boating trips. Saw a kingfisher between Polesworth and Alvecote. Had lunch on the move. Passed two boats as we came down the Glascote two locks and there were three more waiting at the bottom. Did not stop at Fazeley Junction.

Coventry Canal to Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

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From Fazeley Junction to Hopwas arriving at 4:30 pm. The time taken was 55 minutes. 2.75 miles and 0 locks, averaging 3 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 60 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 84 locks, averaging 3.04 lock/miles per hour.

Moored near the Tame Otter, where we had dinner (Roquefort Cheese Cake 5.95, Rainbow Trout 7.70). A breezy day with sunshine and cloud.

Birmingham and Fazeley Canal to Trent and Mersey Canal

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Monday 30th April 2001

From Hopwas to Rugeley Bridge No 66 arriving at 3:10 pm. The time taken was 6 hours 5 minutes. 15.5 miles and 3 locks, averaging 3.04 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 66 hours 40 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 87 locks, averaging 2.8 lock/miles per hour.

A bright sunny start to the day as we made our way to Fradley Junction. Cloud increased as the day progressed. Quite a lot of boats on the move today. Had lunch on the move. At 1400 we stopped for water at Spode (30 minutes). Moored just before the visitor moorings and went to collect the post (but it had not arrived) and do some shopping.Rugeley Bridge No 66:  - 1st May 2001.
Rugeley Bridge No 66: - 1st May 2001.

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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