Norton Junction

It was a day of sunshine (occasionally) but mostly blustery and quite cold showers. I got up early this morning to turn on the Alde, which heats the rear of the cabin (toilet and bedroom) and found it very difficult to light. Eventually it failed completely. We are trying to enlist the services of a mobile engineer to come and fix it. Let us hope we can get some progress tomorrow when we meet him at Braunston.
We stopped for lunch at Weedon and went up the Buckby Flight late afternoon. There was a lot of water coming down over the gates, which made things very difficult. The Buckby flight gates are difficult at the best of times. Most gates and paddle mechanisms are very heavy. We reckon that they are amongst the worst we have experienced. However, this time we found one gate that bucked the trend – it was so badly balanced that in the wind it would not stay closed even when the lock was empty of water.

We met a breasted-up pair of laden working boats going down the flight (Bletchley and Argo). They moved down quite quickly even though they were operated single-handed. We also found a boat (Coral) attempting the Thames Ring but going in the opposite direction; again single-handed.

Mooring up just below the top lock, we went to the New Inn for dinner. Maggie had her usual half of Old Rosie and I again had a pint of Frog Island; creatures of habit.

No photographs tonight because we approaching the Braunston digital black hole. We only have miserable GPRS. Setting our location on the Google gadget took me over 45 minutes.