It was quite cool inside the boat when we awoke this morning and a quick peep through the curtains showed us why. Thick dark grey clouds filled the sky and a strong wind whipped up the surface of the G.U. Canal.
It was eight o’clock so we got up and got dressed and prepared to cast off. I untied the back of the boat and immediately the wind pushed the stern out from the bank, not a good start but with a bit of muscle work Sue and I managed to get everything under control. We chugged along to the junction where we took on water before reversing into the wind and taking the left turn towards Napton.
The strong wind persisted with its cold blasts all the way to Wigrams turn and then as if we had entered a different land, we turned right and the sun came out. By the time we had reached the top lock at Calcutt, we were enjoying a beautiful spring day. We worked down the three locks on our own, crossing two boats on the way and by the time we left the bottom lock we were actually quite warm. We were soon on the way to Stockton where we have stayed many times before, this time would be slightly different for us because instead of turning at Birdingbury Wharf the following morning, we were able to turn at the arm currently being restored and developed by Willow Wren. After our turn we reversed four hundred yards or so back to a convenient towpath mooring.
After showering in the lovely, newly heated fresh water, we walked the two miles down to Long Itchington and had a late lunch at The Buck & Bell. We sat outside in the sunshine and marvelled at the contrast between the weather in the afternoon compared to the morning, that’s the sort of climate change that anyone would welcome!
After lunch we made a quick trip to the Co-op and started the long uphill trudge back to our mooring. Although the sun was still shining when we got back, it wasn’t quite warm enough to sit outside so we retreated inside and flopped in the reclining chairs.
Tomorrow is forecast to be sunny, we are pointing in the right direction and are only four hours away from Braunston so it feels like there is a very relaxing day in store for us.
All that remains now is to light the fire and then mellow for the rest of the evening.