Despite having set ourselves a moderately demanding schedule, we haven't exactly excelled at early starts. I am generally up quite early, but somehow things then get very relaxed, and I would struggle to explain how the time gets used up until the engine gets fired up.
We tend to have a broad plan for the day, and our scheduling (such as it is!) is helped by having done a similar trip two years ago.
Lots of boats were moving before us, and it was very busy on the stretch from Braunston to "Wigrams", where the Grand Union Birmingham main line branches away from the Oxford. Sadly this stretch usually features a few badly stricken wooden ex-working boats, and this time was no different. I unfortunately am not familiar enough with them to know for certain which boat each is, as they seldom carry an identifiable name.
We had a agreed to deliver some boat paint, surplus to our requirements, to a friend, and this meant a short detour by turning right onto the Birmingham line, towards Calcutt locks. That done, we turned above Calcutt, but also seized the opportunity to buy some engine spares at the boatyard there.
|Starting the ascent of the Napton Flight|
After that it was really just a case of progressing a reasonable distance along the summit, but as Cath didn't fancy cooking, and the pub at Fenny Compton was good on our last visit, we decided to head there.
|Not a usual place to see a narrow boat on this stretch.|
|Charlie takes the air!|
|Charlie contemplates am alternate name for "his" boat.|
Braunston Puddle Banks to Fenny Compton
Miles: 17.5, Locks:9
Total Miles: 70.9, Total Locks:44