First jaunt of 2012
We’ve had a busy winter with one thing and another, so much so that we’ve not actually been out on Phoenix III since mid November. The last month has seen us working on the interior of the boat which now sports a new oak floor as well as a rebuilt front step with matching door inserts and TV cupboard. We got everything installed and finished off this morning so after running up the engine this afternoon we were able to undo the strings and set off for a short hop along the cut. The wind was gusting as we exited the pontoon but we made it around in the desired direction and paused on the loading bay briefly to take on water before emerging on to the Grand union in a northerly direction. As usual it was tickover only until we reached Braunston turn where we took a left and headed in the direction of Napton. It felt very liberating to be out and about again in the fresh air. The sun was heading for the horizon but the wind wasn’t too cold as we made our way in a westwardly direction. Our very pleasant jaunt ended when we reached bridge 102 where we tied up for the evening.
We were awake by 6.30 as the sun started to make an appearance over the horizon, warming the boat, making it creak and groan as the steelwork expanded trying to take the wood panelling with it. A cup of tea each followed by a couple of coffees helped us to drag ourselves out of bed by nine o’clock. After a light breakfast we ventured out into the early spring sunshine and headed off in the direction of Flecknoe, just under a mile away. As we walked away from the canal we could see and hear a boat with a brass instrument playing crew member. The music floated on the wind, following us up the hill towards the village and then there was a sudden fanfare as the boat approached bridge 102, a novel warning to the boat approaching from the other side or perhaps the boat was a part of the Ryanair empire?
We soon reached the village and had a quick wander around, passing by the village hall and then on to the local church where of course we had to resume “Suzy’s boneyard tour”. We checked out the location of the local pub, The Old Olive Bush; too early for a drink but noted for future reference before we turned around and headed back to the boat. Along the way we stopped to speak to a woman on horseback who pointed out some highlights of the surrounding landscape.
Returning to Phoenix III we had another coffee and a slice of cake before we set off to bridge 107 where we could turn around and head back to Braunston. Blue skies and bright sunshine provided the backdrop to our return journey and upon spying a clear mooring outside The Boathouse, we tied up again and bought a pint of bitter and a glass of wine to accompany our homemade lunch. It is only a short hop from there to the marina so after we had eaten we completed our journey, loaded up the car and headed back to our dry land abode.