Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Still cold

We affirmed our belief that we are fair weather boaters by aborting a planned trip up the Leicester Arm due to bad weather. In intermittent heavy rain showers we did some basic maintenance, tanking up with water, disinfecting pipes and clearing air blocks while using the rain to scrub the rather grubby roof.
At a very good lunch at The Wharf (Welford) we agreed that the weather forecast (cold, sunny intervals broken by bands of rain, occasional light snow showers ...) wasn't attractive enough to entice us out, so we wrapped dear Patience up for another few weeks before we try to take her out again.
On an impulse we decided to go down to the museum at Stoke Bruerne (an hour by car - three days by boat!) and enjoyed the displays and the tea and cakes. A very friendly museum and a good spot near the Blisworth tunnel.
Last year we reached the Blisworth (north) end and opted not to continue to Stoke Bruerne as we were uncertain about moorings and turning. At 3,076 yards (2,813m) long it is the third-longest navigable canal tunnel on the UK canal network after Standedge Tunnel and Dudley Tunnel (and the ninth-longest canal tunnel in the world). On yesterday's inspection we need not have worried: there is extensive inline mooring and a good winding hole plus two pubs and two restaurants as well as the museum and café.
Here's the view of the lock - taken from the loading bay window of the old store that is now the museum. What appear to be two locks, one on either side of the central island is in fact one operating lock (on the left) and an old non-functioning one on the right.

 Hailstones start falling heavily as I write this. A good decision to call off our trip.

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