Thursday, 31 December 2009

Baron Nights, Goodnight Vienna, or Kestrel Manoeuvres in the Dark?

(As Alan is now writing some of the posts we will identify the poster from now on - this one posted by Cath)

Thursday 31st December 2009

We have had an eye on the weather forecast for a few days, hoping to be able to get away for a couple of days before the beginning of next term, and finally settled on going north on Friday, and returning on Saturday, as both days were predicted to be quite sunny - although possibly cold. Weather forecasts seem very hit and miss at the local level - although they might be fairly accurate regionally - so we thought we'd give it a go, and hope that it wasn't too cold overnight.

We had to drop one of our sons at a New Year's Party/ Weekend sleepover, so we didn't get up to the boat until about three in the afternoon - with no more than an hour left before sunset. Our other son was going out to a different New Year's Party later that evening, but planned to meet us by train in Leighton Buzzard the following lunchtime

We flung everything on board, and, pausing only to get the fire alight, we set off north.

Our first lock was Seabrook top lock, where we met a single-hander coming the other way - it was about quarter to four, and we discussed whether or not we could reasonably get through the next lock, and find somewhere to moor. However, after the lock there was a good mooring place above the next lock, so we pulled over and tied up.

It was light until about 4:30 - but some time later, as we were sitting and drinking coffee we heard a boat coming up through the lock - in fact a pair of working boats - Kestrel and Vienna.

We cooked up mushroom stroganoff and apple crumble, and played cards all evening. Boring? No, we had a great time, compared to the mind numbing New Year's Eves of previous years, watching stultifying television, and then Jools Holland counting in the New Year.

At around 11:00 pm we heard a boat engine again, and looking out towards the lock we saw Baron + butty coming up. They passed us, and headed on south - as it was a full moon it can not have been a problem working through the locks, but I do wonder what time they decided to stop for the night.

We banked up the fire, and headed off for bed not long after midnight.

Miles: 0.65 Locks: 1
PS, blame Alan for the dreadful title of this post.

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