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Foxton to Norton Junction (22 miles, 7 locks)

So now the motor is up for sale on Apollo Duck, we can continue a relatively ordinary routine of festivals on our calendar, fitting viewings in where we are accessible.   
(It is possible that we may decide to sell the butty as well, if a working pair of boats was available on the sale of our motor.....!!!)
Please follow the above link for details and correspondence form.

Leaving Foxton on Sunday evening, we passed through the tunnel and arrived at Welford Junction around 8pm.   It was a good start to the journey.

The boys often enjoy a stroll along the towpath, as Richard doesn't really need me on the butty.  She behaves very well and I only need to help on tight bends, wiggly bits and windy situations!

Back on board

Yelvertoft Marina

This bend is difficult enough, because boats moor on it and there is usually a boat coming the other way, but to breast up?  She was a nice lady, so I decided not to put her boats on Facebook page 'Moored like a t@@t'..... Luckily on this occasion there were no approaching boats!

Crack Hill at Crick in the distance

Crick Marina on the left on the approach to Crick visitor moorings

For once, we decided that we would carry on, breaking the habit of a lifetime, as we always overnight in Crick.  The tunnel is in this next stretch

And out the other side

A beautiful day as we neared Watford Locks

Virtually no hold up at the locks and with the welcome help of the volunteers on duty, we flew down, me taking the motor and Richard bow hauling the butty

Left turn at the junction, and our usual mooring was conveniently free after the workboats.   The sun was burning, so we retreated inside and had showers ready for an early start on Tuesday morning....

Foxton Festival & a radical move forward...

Another successful, albeit not as busy (because of the scorching weather!) festival for all of us traders out of the way for another year

The festival field around 10am just starting to wake up

Traders bracing themselves

Carpark looking busy already!

We were just around the bend behind the Cheese Boat.

It was a relief to pack away on Sunday evening as we were feeling quite dehydrated and tired, but our thoughts were already on our big venture..

Now moored on the 14 day moorings, we have put our motor boat details on acclaimed website ApolloDuck, to gauge the depth of interest around our beautiful narrowboat.

If you are interested or know someone who is, please share the link below:

Watford Gap to Foxton Locks (22 miles and 7 locks)

Not exactly boating weather this last week, I think everyone will agree!

However, our sights have been set on travelling to our next festival location for the weekend before, to enable us to collect deliveries of stock and nip into town to do errands on the reasonably priced bus!

Love the countryside around here

Crick tunnel

We moored overnight at Crick and had some time to catch up with cleaning and sprucing the motor boat for valuation...
  The next phase of our business progression will hopefully include selling diesel and coal from a motor.  
We have had 2 valuations on the motor, waiting for a third and so far have been pleasantly surprised with them so far.
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be another more appropriate motor boat out there to suit our needs.....?

Yelvertoft Wharf where for once, we didn't meet another boat!


Round the bend at Welford Junction after an afternoon stop on the straight stretch with the Cheese Boat

After getting drenched, we moored about an hour away from Foxton and completed the journey on Friday morning.

So here we are, please come and see us over the next week or so, especially the festival weekend as there is a lot going on.

And maybe we will have taken the next step on our venture by the time I post again.....

Stoke Bruerne to Watford locks 16 miles and 7 locks

After a fairly quiet (but this does seem to be more the way at Stoke Bruerne) weekend, we set off at teatime Sunday to get through the tunnel.

Because we had set off so late in the day, we knew that mooring space for our boats would be at a premium, but then that is our fault for setting off when everyone else has retired for the day!  

Our evening cruise took us way past Gayton Junction, finally ending a mile or so further on.  An early start got us missing a lot of the traffic along this busy stretch

Approaching Weedon and the optimistic caravanners...

Weedon Wharf

Finally our evening resulted in a slap up meal in the New Inn at the top of the Buckby flight for my birthday

Another early morning on Wednesday, leaving Norton Junction after a day of extreme windiness and rain on the Tuesday, but not much better!

View towards the junction

Turning right, we are now on the Leicester section of the Grand Union canal and our destination for the next 2 weekends.  The festival weekend at Foxton is the second weekend. Please try and come and see us and the other colourful attractions at Foxton this year!

Meanwhile, I try to get some stock built back up for the show!

Boxmoor to Stoke Bruerne (44 miles, 46 locks!!)

After an unexpectedly (due to it being their first floating event) brilliant floating market at Fishery's Lock, Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead,  we moved off in order to be back at Stoke Bruerne for the next weekend.

Winkwell automated road bridge worked perfectly for me on the way back up!

Nosing into a lock

Rising up in another lock

Shallow pounds on the approach to Berkhamsted.  We had had a really slow day, as someone, apparently, had managed to drain a few pounds and Canal and River Trust staff had had to get water levels up to navigable depths again leading to big delays!

Catching up with the boats, after Richard had levelled off mid channel going over a particularly shallow bit!

Our morning after mooring above Cowroast lock with other boaters Mary and Phil on their fuel boat 'Hyperion' and the Cheeseboat and Coffee Boat.

Working down Marsworth flight the next morning, all was going well

I operated the gates and paddles cycling onto the next lock to fill for Richard on the boats

View down the lock gates whilst 'gate lining' the right gate from the butty mast (old boating technique of opening a gate with a line attached to the reversing boat in order to save a trip around the lock to open it, when short on crew)

Back on the boat for the boys

Making good progress down the locks now!  Our goal was to get to Leighton Buzzard to do shopping and moor for the evening

A hot and peaceful evening opposite Wyvern Hire Boats yard, with the Cheeses and Coffees and we set off again, in order too reach Stoke Bruerne flight for the day

The Globe Inn at Leighton Buzzard

Down through Stoke Hammond lock with the lovely 'Winterfell' (Game of Thones reference there...) widebeam on the offside left

And on again through Milton Keynes

Wolverton after MK

Cosgrove aquaduct

So we completed the flight at Stoke Bruerne first thing Friday morning and are now moored above for trading over the weekend.   Come and see us if you are in the area!!

Ricky to Boxmoor (9 miles and 19 locks)

We left Ricky on the Tuesday morning heading for our next event at Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, leaving the Cheese Boat behind for a couple of days rest, after Geraldine's ordeal.  

She was still very wobbly and confined to bed until her strength recovered.

Passing up through the locks on our journey, we again stopped on the water point below Cassiobury Park, where again, there was a boat moored on the designated water point area....grrrr.  He was very pleasant as we left, but this inconsideration to other boaters is rife down here!

Approaching the next lock

Under the bridge approaching iron bridge lock

Car on a boat..... I know don't ask, we don't it's the best way, but then why not?

Eventually, we moored below Boxmoor lock ready for the booked event at Fishery Wharf.

Richard and Jim took a lift from Paul of nb Pania (Bags by Jane) back to Ricky with their bikes and returned just under 5 hours later, very  hot but with a safe and sound Michael and Geraldine.  They traded over the weekend as planned and were very grateful for the boys' intervention!

And WHAT a weekend.  Al at the cafe organised a brilliant weekend comprising entertainment and food at the cafe and the floating market on the adjacent canal stretch, despite 'mooring restriction' permission delays from Canal and River Trust threatening the floating market side!

We would like to thank him and his team for their hard work and hope to return next year!