Monday, 3 June 2013

Time to move!

Another glorious morning so the decision was made to move.  We were just finishing packing everything away inside when nb Gypsy Emma passed us going in the opposite direction.  The steerer call out they read the blog (thank you) but unfortunately we didn’t get any names.  Please leave a comment if you read this.
We headed south towards Braunston but the first leg was very short as we wanted to top up the Hurricane and Refleks tanks with diesel at Hillmorton Wharf Marina.  Their diesel was '”very” competitively priced as 87p/l for domestic.  We also seized the opportunity to replace the empty 13kg calor gas bottle.  The staff were very friendly and helpful.  Actually it wasn’t until they gave me their business card that I realised I’d previously come upon their website when doing a Google search for chandlery equipment. 
Half way through filling the tanks Richard and Joan passed on nb Dreamchaser.  They were Ben Harp’s very last victims losing their £1000 booking deposit.  We last met Richard & Joan at Aldermaston wharf on the Kennet & Avon during the rebuild of Waiouru in July 2012.
It seemed as if all the traffic was going in the opposite direction.  nb Sanity Again passed with Sheila at the tiller.  I guess Bruce was down in the galley wearing his apron! Smile
A small line of boats were moored on a tranquil stretch of towpath when we suddenly realised one in the middle had a large solar array up.  Our guess proved correct and it was Lynne and Paul on nb Piston Broke.  I sounded the horn and Lynne popped her head out the side hatch to say hello.  Paul was a little slower.  He was down on his knees on the towpath facing Mecca painting the gunwale.
  Behind them was nb Derwent 6 but there didn’t appear to be any sign of Del & Al.
A few turns further on and Jan exclaimed “Isn’t that the boat with frogs on it” 
It was Swamp Frogs which, if my memory is correct, was recently reviewed in Canalboat magazine.
We received a very friendly wave through the side hatch from the lady on board. 
The plan for the day was to follow the strategy espoused by Bruce & Sheila heading off at 8:30am with the objective of finding a mooring around 11:00am.  This gives sufficient time for the engine to recharge the batteries and for other boats to have left their mooring (our destination).  It worked today and we found a good spot on the 14 day moorings about 300 metres before Midland Chandlers.
After lunch we wandered up to the village with a detour to Midland Chandlers where they kindly accepted £54 of our hard earned money for save keeping in exchange for some fenders, SS machine screws, chain hose and a plastic fender hook to replace the one I broke.  The next destination was the village and the butchers shop.  We’d read about the quality of their meat on a number of blogs so thought we’d put it to the test.
Jan purchased some black pudding, sausages, and a steak and kidney pie which we had for dinner.  It tasted offal!  I’m not sure when Dracula Jan will cook the black pudding! 
Braunston church is a well known local landmark and has a strong connection with the old working boat families.  Many were married in the church and the graveyard also contains their remains.
My eye was drawn to the steeple stonework.
On the reverse side of the church is a naked windmill.  Or it looks naked to me without any sails.

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