So the narrowboat adventure has started. I will be going through the 4 days of travel we did to get the boat to it’s home mooring and final destination!
The first day we started off where we had bought it from which was Braunston Marina. This journey for us if you are travelling bu car is roughly 1.5hrs. On a narrowboat it’s 4 days of fun! My wonderful friend P came with us and stayed the whole journey to help us with the locks and the journey as she knows just how hard and stressful it can be for newbies! We had only have a 30 minute test drive and a quick refuel before we headed off on our maiden adventure. Firstly we had a couple of wide locks to do then Braunston tunnel. Now for the average car, 1 mile of tunnel feels so quick but when you are on a narrowboat at roughly 2MPH this take between 20 to 30 minutes and it was absolutely breathtaking when you came out the otherside! I can’t seem to show you the video 😦 Hopefully this link works here
The first night we moored up in Weedon and it was lovely. Me and my hubby made dinner for P and her partner. We were moored at the side of the canal near a bridge. It was very dark and we needed supplies so me and my husband went on a shop hunt with torches. We were successful with our excursion and found what we needed.
The next day we set off and this day was going to be a true test of patients. It was around midday by the time we were at the top of the Northampton flight of locks. There are 17 locks in total to go and you cannot stop, you must keep going. We thought that we had plenty of time so my friend P said we should go for it. The first few locks were the hardest as you are at the top of the hill, it’s all open and the wind catches you easily. The boat didn’t want to start in line with the lock, no matter how hard I tried. I had the odd bump here and there and was growing with frustration. These locks are also very narrow so more of a challenge to get into but much easier once in. After about the 14th lock I was DONE. My body ached, my head pounded, even the heat packs stuck on me and pain meds weren’t helping anymore. Just 3 more to go…. Just before dark, we made it to Northampton moorings. We started cooking dinner and my dad called to find out how we got on and to find out where we were. He decided to come and see us! It was so wonderful! He joined us for dinner and brought some long awaited lip salve. We were all getting very chapped lips due to the sun exposure and wind. My lips ate the stuff within 2 days!
So day 3 we had a wee glitch in the matrix… we started off really nicely, trundling along and had 2 more friends come along a join us to help. We were just past a lovely pub not long onto the river Nene and the boat starts slowing down… I was told to ‘gun it’ and the boat slowed down even more! Then it started reversing!!! PANIC! We dropped the anchor and then used a pole to try and push the bum end towards the bank. Still too much of a gap to make it. Luckily we had not long purchased the boating equivalent to the AA and they were on the way. 1 Hour later, we threw him a rope and he managed to get on without a splash! My husband and our friends and diagnosed it correctly, we had a snapped clutch cable… Another 2 hours and me cooking lunch for us all later, we were on our way again. These locks were much friendlier. We then had to hammer it on the Nene to get to Wellingborough in time for the evenings mooring. We made it JUST before dark and our 2 friends that had joined us hopped off. We made dinner, settled in for the night with a lovely fire.
Day 4 was MUCH better. We could take our time and enjoy the beautiful views.
We made it in half a day and managed to organise ourselves for the rest of the day. A huge thank you to our wonderful friends who gave up their time to help us. We love you!
I hope you have enjoyed this, I have enjoyed writing it as it brought up some lovely memories. We cannot wait to make this a permanent home! Take care everyone