Our day started with a short trip from our overnight mooring to Braunston Chandlers to buy some paint & varnish ready for a little project to renovate the rear doors and side hatch. The area at the bottom of the locks was congested and we had to ask if we could ‘breast up’ to a boat being worked on at Wharf House Narrowboats “As long as you don’t wobble it about” I was told by their engineer, “I’ve just lined up the new engine room cover plate”. I acquitted myself to his satisfaction with narry a bump; they had just stretched the boat by 8 foot and were getting ready to drop the engine back in through the roof.
By this time the lock mooring was free and we moved across and was asked by the crew of nb Empress, one of The Wyvern Shipping Co’s fleet, if they could share the lock with us, we gladly agreed and accompanied them up the entire flight. They were an experienced and laid back crew whose company we enjoyed.
The experience of Braunston Tunnel was next, a first for us, a long tunnel with two way traffic! We met three boats, one of which gave us a glancing blow, for which they apologised, it wasn’t too scary or too wet and we were soon out in the sunshine again.
We joined up with nb Empress again who had had a pub lunch at the New Inn and went down Buckby Locks together.
Buckby was always known to canal people as Bugby, and I saw it written that way in permanent marker on a replaced balance arm.
We enjoyed the lock free run down to Stowe Hill, the Grand Union seeming wonderfully wide after our familiar Oxford Canal. On reaching Stowe Hill we found a space waiting for us on the visitor moorings.