Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Gayton Marina

Today's Navigations - River Nene, Northampton Arm

Last night we agreed to meet with our electrician this morning so that he could fix a data logger to record the voltages changes in our batteries over a period of time. The details of the meet were to be arranged today and by just before ten we fixed on just below Lock 15.

The weather today was ideal boating weather - sunny spells, warm air and a gentle breeze. It felt really about the best day so far this season. It had rained heavily overnight so some of the vegetation has already taken on a more distinct green hue in just the few days with some rain.

We set off and it was only a few minutes before we arrived at the Carlsberg factory that marks the junction with the Northampton Arm and a return to CaRT waters.

We were now very definitely back into narrow canal territory and very different ways of working the boat through the locks.

This fairly short branch is notorious for being rather weedy and slow as well as often having some of the short pounds run almost empty. At this stage we certainly encountered the first two of these characteristics - the other came later.

We met with Graham as agreed and proceeded into Lock 15 so that he could work down in the engine bay - it only took a very shirt time but chatting meant that we were there some while. Fortunately no other boat came along to use the lock. Mike was also concerned about the prop and indeed he soon found a length of rope wrapped around the drive shaft. Luckily it came away comparatively easily.

The rest of the flight beckoned and we continued, now with only short pounds between the locks.

Underneath the motorway is now this splendid brightly coloured mural showing a history timeline of Northampton. It was created by Delapre Primary school in conjunction with the local IWA. It definitely brightens up the otherwise rather dull space.

We s\w rather more boats today than for some time - this photo shows two down and one up in a very short distance -doesn't it look busy! At least most were coming the other way from ourselves so most of the locks were set for us.

There are several lift bridges along the flight but they are all left open these days.

By the time we came out of Lock 8, several of the pounds were rather low - this scuppered any hopes of stopping briefly for a quick lunch.

When we arrived at Lock 4, there was extra water coming down the bywash.

Yet, by the time we had filled the lock and closed it up again, the level above was well down. This how that, even without leakage, short pounds do have issues with water levels, They were not designed for stopping in, anyway, but perhaps today they are less deep with infrequent dredging.

After completing the flight we were keen to find a place to moor up temporarily but this was less than easy as the first part offers no chances - with deep weed banks - and then the armco stretch began with insufficient depth to come alongside. We did find somewhere just at the start of the marina but with work on blacking boats taking place on the opposite bank it was not an ideal spot.

Hence, as soon as he could be persuaded, Mike was 'forced' to take us on up to the junction where we could make use of the services. On the way back we had a brief discussion and agreed that Christine would check with the office and if it was not exceptionally expensive and was available we would move straight into the marina, avoiding having to do that tomorrow and so that Christine can have facilities available for cleaning the boat whilst Mike treks over to Buckden to collect the car.

We will stay on battery power for tonight so that the data logger has something useful to record but it will need to go onto shore power tomorrow for the washing machine. Hence, tonight we are in Gayton Marina and not moored to a nearby towpath

5.3 Miles - 17 Locks

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