Long Buckby, Stoke Bruerne and Yardley Gobion

On Saturday we returned to Albert at Braunston. Joining us for the day was daughter Emily and our grandson Hugh - his first boating trip at seven weeks old.  We wanted to take on water so we moved across to the water point by Midland Chandlers. The tap was very slow so when fellow bloggers NB Valerie joined us and used the other tap the flow became a dribble.

NB Hadar

NB Hadar passed us and then moored up around the corner. Jo & Keith came over to chat and then share a lunch with their friends on board Valerie. We left the water point with our tank only half full because we didn't want to spend all our time waiting and there are other taps.

Hugh and Emily enjoying a boat trip

Hugh sleeping on board
Whilst waiting for the bottom lock at at Braunston I noticed NB Mouse. It is so short that its swim is longer than the rest of the hull. Surely the shortest narrow boat? According to Jim Shead's listing she is just 13ft 6in long.
Is this the shortest narrowboat?
We went up the Braunston flight alone, but there was a constant stream of boats coming down making our job easy. At the second lock we met friends George & Ann Davis who were coming down from Crick in their boat Daisy May. The trip through Braunston Tunnel was amazingly easy with no boats coming through in the other direction.
We took on water at Long Buckby. The water pressure was so fierce that the hose shot out of the water filler and soaked Maggie's legs - still it filled up the tank quickly. NB Midnight Rambler were waiting for friends at the Top Lock so we were able to go down the top lock together and moor up just below the road bridge. Unfortunately, The New Inn was closed and bordered up - no chance of a pint of Frog Island and a half of Old Rosie.

Sunday saw us travelling down to Stoke Bruerne. Half way down the Buckby flight we met NB Tempus Fugit who was travelling single handed. We went down the rest of the flight together. Tempus Fugit is normally moored in Wolverton so we see it regularly. It turns out to be a Black Country Narrowboats Tug with a Kingfisher engine that makes a nice sound. My recollection is that Black Country Narrowboats built the famous Ragdoll of Rosie & Jim fame. There was a inconclusive Canal World Dicussion Forum debate on the topic a few  years ago but she still appears to be registered with BW (CRT) according to Jim Shead.

NB Tempus Fugit

Kingfisher KD26
Passing through Weedon, just after lunch, we got into a bit of a queue with two Stowe Hill boats idling back to their base and another boat who appeared to have some engine problems - clouds of black smoke billowed out behind it at random intervals. As we got further south the weather got colder and more cloudy. By the time we got to Blisworth it was quite miserable. The trip through Blisworth tunnel was quick - 30 minutes. There was only one boat going north and that was close to the southern portal. Emerging from the southern portal, we found ourselves in a damp and misty Stoke Bruerne.
We revived ourselves with drinks in The Boat Inn and then retired back to Albert. After seven o'clock the gas cylinder ran out and whilst I was in the process of changing it using my head torch, what handy devices they are, a boat arrived and moored up in front of us. It was a hire boat that had obviously got behind schedule since it had been pitch dark for over an hour.

Autumn leaves at Stoke Bruerne!

This morning, Monday, we woke to wet misty weather. We had moored up under the trees to avoid a pinch spot in the canal just ahead. That was a mistake because by the morning Albert's roof was just covered in leaves, from an ash tree Maggie informs me. It took ages to remove them from the roof and they left a lot of dirt behind which needed pleanty of mopping. The weather improved a little during the morning and after a slow start (it's allowed occasionally) we went down the Stoke Bruerne flight. It was very quiet. We met only one boat coming up and only a pair of gongoozlers, who turned out to be Spanish. We got back to Kingfisher Marina in the early afternoon and set about unpacking the boat.
All in all we have had a good three weeks crusing, not getting to Henley and "grandparenting".