Watching the weather forecast for yesterday we knew we wouldn’t be moving, meaning this would be a great opportunity for a liaison with Mr Tesco. For a few moments the Tesco van had parked in the museum’s ‘Pay & Display’ car park while the driver delivered our order. As the car park was practically empty, I didn’t feel a bit guilty for not paying the £2.50 car park fee.
There’s a lot of work happening at Stoke Bruerne, mainly by voluteers with C&RT employees managing the work. They hope to meet their target for all works to be finished before the end of March.
Along from the tunnel to the Museum 50 ‘square’ holes have been dug, lined with bricks, filled with concrete, and with a mooring ring set in the concrete. Though moorings over the winter are 14 days max, officially there are 14 days, 7 days, and 48 hours (depending how far away you’re moored from the museum). Overstayers will incur a charge of £25 per night!
Our aim today was to drop down the seven Stoke Bruerne flight of locks, visit the sanny station at the bottom locks before mooring up. That didn’t happen though… John did the locks, and when he started pushing the gate open, I slipped Cyan’s mooring and slowly made our way to the locks. Just as we started moving the wind came from nowhere, with strong gusts that made the short journey a challenge – “Hurry up John, open the flippin’ gates!”
The gate wouldn’t open for John – it was with mixed thoughts for John to quickly open the gate, but please don’t let him strain too much with his athritic knees! Cyan was getting blown about the pound, I tried to aim for the lock landing and failed due to the gusts of wind. Eventually it was realised that the paddle on a lower gate was left slightly open, causing the lock to not completely fill; keeping the pressure against the top gate, and stopping it from opening.
Sailing out of the lock, Cyan was held back in the ‘throat of the bridge’ for shelter from the wind, while John set the next lock. Cyan poked out from under the bridge just enough to clear the chimney, I didn’t want the arch of the bridge to squash the chimney.
While we were in the lock the rain started! Enough!
It was a challenge due to the strong wind, but we managed to moor just after the second lock. Thank goodness my splicing on the new centre line, securing it to the boat, passed the ‘strength’ test as it took both of us to hold onto the centre line pulling/holding Cyan back against the towpath for us to moor.
Before we left we snapped a few photos of the lovely woodland walk.
The weather looks like it’s going to be a very welcome sunny day tomorrow! We hope to drop down the five locks, visit the sanny, and probably moor up. We’ll be opening our last bag of coal tomorrow, which means we’ve a day or so to find a marina for supplies – I believe Kingfisher Marina is just over three miles from the bottom lock.