Sunday 14th March 2010
Hi from Weedon. Buckby locks were definitely open and the trip from Braunston was very nice – a bit breezy at times but the weather has been very spring like today so no complaints there.
The Braunston tunnel cutting repairs are very extensive, with a new concrete wall where the landslip had occurred, and although the canal is now open to traffic since Thursday, the towpath is closed, as are two thirds of the moorings above the top lock, so walking over Braunston tunnel is not straightforward at present.
Buckby locks are in pretty good shape after the winter stoppage (which still finishes tomorrow officially), and the gates are as heavy as ever, but all the paddle gear seemed well serviced. I was lucky enough to meet coal boat Towcester for an impromptu diesel top up in mid flight (I keep forgetting that Zulu needs fuel every now and then), and tonight we are in Weedon, where once again I will have to part with Zulu and head back south in the car tomorrow.
Todays fun mostly took place before the boating – first of all a lovely breakfast at the Gongoozler floating cafe at Braunston, and suitably refreshed, I tackled a job which I had been dreading. Zulu had a domestic fridge which no longer works but is too big to go through the doors. The previous owner must have had it lowered in when repairing the cabin sides, and theres no way I was going to get it out by hacking the walls apart.
So throwing caution to the wind I went back and literally cut it in half – using tin snips rather than a chainsaw as someone suggested (somewhat tongue in check I think!). The resulting bits, while keeping the pipework and condenser intact, all fitted nicely into the car and are now in Daventry tip. I had a slight dizzy moment when I jolted the fridge as I put it into the boot of the car, and removed a lump off my thumb, luckily just a small bit though and a dozen plasters later it is fine now. It just shows how life can change withing a second, and in the heat of the moment I couldn’t even think where the first aid kit is on Zulu while wrapping myself up in kitchen towel. It is now more prominent to ensure that it can be reached one handed, should any further call be made upon its contents in the future.
So here I am at Weedon instead of Milton Keynes due to wasting most of yesterday, but its a good enough place to leave the boat, and the delay has certainly enabled me to tick off yet another task from the list of rainy day jobs, so this has been an altogether useful and constructive weekend after all.
8 Miles and 13 Locks