Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Coke Hat

I've finally decided to retire my decrepit old fedora in favour of a more authentically c19th Bowler or Coke hat.

I was going to like that worn by the Friends of President but I've checked and they tend to wear flat caps
I've been looking for one for some time. I'd order online but I don't know my hat size (metric or imperial) so it was a question of trying some on in a shop. That's what I did in my lunch hour today.

There was a choice of hats from England or China. Needless to say the hats from China were cheaper, and in my case the fit was a little better as well.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Home again

We set off at 9AM as we knew Buckby locks would not be open until 10AM. It was only after we had entered Braunston tunnel that I realised the tunnel light was not working so I yelled at the crew to get out on the well deck with all the torches they could muster. It was too late to reverse back to the entrance. We made it through without further incident and down the Buckby flight. The run from Buckby to Blisworth Mill always seems long but only took us three to four hours. We packed up the laundry and headed home for fish and chips.

Moored at Blisworth Mill
Total distance is 16 miles, 6½ furlongs and 7 locks

Still Raining

It was raining when we woke up so we decided to wait it out. At lunchtime we gave in and set off, topping up the water tank at Braunston junction. It was a day of discoveries. I found my old waterproofs are no longer watertight. Cathy was trying out the old boaters' technique of wearing a thick overcoat and this meant I could borrow her waterproofs for the Braunston flight of locks. We reached the top lock as the lock keeper arrived to padlock the gates of the top lock. Probably the wettest day I've spent on Syncopation.

Moored at

Braunston Top Lock No 6

Total distance is 1 mile, 5 furlongs and 6 locks

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


We were joined by our friend Penny and her children Toby, Izzy and Roseanne for the day. We quickly reached the back of the queue for Hillmorton locks. Tenth in line, with only one half of the twinned narrow locks working. The Hillmorton flight consists of pairs of narrow locks in tandem to permit more traffic to pass. Over the winter BW have been repairing half the locks, so capacity on this busy stretch has been halved. After about an hour and a half we reached the head of the queue. Down the locks to the winding hole and then back up again, dropping our guests off by their car at the Old Royal Oak before returning to our mooring near Braunston. It started raining as we turned at the winding hole.

Penny saw me lugging the toilet cassettes along the towpath and said "Now there's a Daddy job!" Must ask Cathy if she's ever emptied a cassette.

Moored at Bridge No 89
Total distance is 13 miles, 7 furlongs and 6 locks.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Taking It Easy

We went up the Buckby flight in company with a couple from Belgium who keep a narrowboat at Blisworth Marina as a bolthole, then on to Braunston. We bought supplies at the store in Braunston and meat from the excellent Village Meats in Braunston. Tucked in for the night with a warm stove. Lovely!

Moored at Bridge No 89
Total distance is 6 miles, 2¼ furlongs and 12 locks

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Thwarted by the drought

After a leisurely start we stopped off at Rugby Boat Sales in Weedon to top off the diesel tanks. I think it's only the second time I've topped up the heater tank in four years. Shows a) how frugal the heater is and b) how little we use the diesel heating. This time wasn't so eyewateringly expensive as I hadn't left it so long and the engine tank was not empty as it was last time. Also picked up a bag of coal for the stove.

We arrived at Wilton just before three in the afternoon, only to learn the Buckby locks were padlocked. The drought has brought restrictions to lock operating hours and I hadn't thought to check for stoppages. So we have an enforced wait until 10 tomorrow morning.

Moored at
Buckby Bottom Lock No 13
Total distance is 9 miles, 6½ furlongs and 0 locks