I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday 25 April 2014

The Blue Lias (Grand Union) - Thursday 24th April

At last we are out on the cut again.  Muffin has settled down to being a boater's dog again - he loves standing looking down the gunnel at where we are going

We are heading to Warwick where we will have crew for a week.  I have known Maggie since we met in hospital after having our sons 33 years ago.  Sadly Maggie and Richard (yes another one!) moved to Florida with Richard's work in 1996 and I still miss her greatly.  We went to Tenerife with them for a week last year but this year they requested a canal trip.  Let's just hope the weather at least keeps fine for them.  I have got lots of jumpers and jackets on board for them so that they didn't have to carry them over - I just hope the central heating holds out or they will be very cold!  Their introduction to narrow boating will be the Hatton flight!

Leaving our pontoon at Barby

 We left Barby early for us – 9.40am.  It was very grey and quite chilly but it was good to be out on the canal again.  Once we had turned right at Braunston onto the Oxford/Grand Union (there does seem to be some confusion over what the canal is called at that stage) the greyness started to lift a bit. 

Crazy swan

We came across a swan who was determined to attack the boat.  He was surfing in our wake and pecking at the button – guess he had a mate on a nest somewhere.  That part of the canal was like the M25 – boats coming towards us all the time and usually at the most inopportune moment!  Of course once we turned onto the Grand Union at Napton Junction there were no boats at all which meant we had to do Calcutt locks on our own though there were two boats coming up at one lock which did help.

Our first lock of the summer - Calcutt Top Lock

The sun then came out which made doing the Stockton locks so much nicer.  Again we were on our own with one boat coming up.  We stopped at the Blue Lias in the sunshine and waited for dinner!

Muffin enjoying working the locks again
We went to the Blue Lias for dinner.  I have to say that the menu wasn’t very inspiring but what we had was well cooked.  We both had sirloin steaks which cost £10.95 – they were large, lean and excellently cooked.

The Blue Lias from the boat

 Barby Moorings to the Blue Lias
13.18 miles
11 locks

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