Through Braunston and Beyond!

We had an early morning start as we set off on our journey to Cambridge. We wanted to leave before the single woman boater, in the boat behind us ‘stirred’. John received a verbal tirade from her last evening when she returned from her bike journey. We moored on a favourite spot of ours, nearby to Bridge 100 on the Oxford/GU, about ‘half a boat’ (30ft) away from her. The spot was carefully chosen, keeping a reasonable distance from Bridge 99, and taking a bend into account. “Couldn’t you have moored closer, like inside my boat?”, she ranted. “I moor here for seclusion and don’t want you moored on top of my boat! “. We didn’t want another confrontation with her, and thought it a good idea to forgo breakfast, and have brunch instead.

Weatherwise the day started rather gloomy, but we were optimistic the weather would be brighter as we progressed.

At Braunston Bottom Lock #1, past Braunston Marina, John paid a visit to the chandlers at Phil Abbot’s boatyard (Wharf House Narrowboats Ltd). The hooks on two of our fenders have broken, and we needed a couple of replacements, for a bit of plastic, we thought them to be rather expensive. After visiting the chandlers, returning with two new hooks, we joined another boat ascending the locks.

The other boat had a full crew of ‘bell ringers’! They were returning from a bell ringing function in Halifax. Every year, they said, they attend the function in the boat; with the boat sleeping about 10 ‘bell ringers’. When I was safely in the lock with Cyan, and while the lock was filling, John popped into the gift shop next to the lock and purchased the book ‘The River Nene’ to help us navigate the river. We now need to purchase one for the Great Ouse.

Leaving our last lock of the day, Braunston Top Lock No 6 was soon occupied by a boat descending the lock.

It’s only a short journey before we came upon the 2000 yd Braunston Tunnel. Rusty did his normal ‘jelly’ routine, with his heart going ‘nineteen to the dozen’. I cuddled him as tight as I could, in the hope to reassure him. Pleased to say we didn’t encounter the ‘boggart’ who likes to tip up boats!

The sun looked like it tried to welcome us as we sailed out of the tunnel

Dredging and bank repair work being carried out

It wasn’t long before we were at Norton Junction

At Norton Wharf we stopped for brunch, and an overnight mooring!

Today we’ve travelled just under 6 miles, and 6 locks.

8 thoughts on “Through Braunston and Beyond!

  1. Hi,
    I assume you have seen the Guide that Sue from No Problem has done for the Nene on her website. Lots of good mooring info.
    The Nene and Great Ouse guides are a bit vague for what is around, compared to the canal guides. In some of the empty areas of the east they do usefully show pylon lines, the only landmark around!
    Hope you have time to visit our old home area The River Lark off the Great Ouse.

    • Hi Steve, yes that’s a brilliant link re Sue’s guide; she’s such a STAR! Thanks for the suggestion about the River Lark, we’ll certainly be giving that a go, it’ll probably be on our way back from getting as close as possible to Cambridge. It’s a bit daunting visiting new waterways, especially rivers, though we’re up for an adventure :), no doubt our return journey will be more relaxed. We’ve also downloaded maps for the Nene, Ouse, and Cam from Waterways Routes.

      Thanks for taking the time providing advice. It’s all much appreciated. Best regards, Jennifer

  2. I had to laugh when I read your comments about the woman wanting mooring seclusion near bridge 100. That’s a favourite spot of ours (and many other people) as it’s near Napton/Calcutt where we keep our boat. In fact, when we started our current trip just over 2 weeks ago we set off at 6pm and moored there for the first night. If she wants seclusion she’s in the wrong place.

    I don’t understand people who expect seclusion on a stretch of armco, they should moor somewhere that requires pins and then they are less likely to have neighbours.

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for Chan this morning as we head from Weedon to the bottom of the Buckby flight.

    Sean (nb Lily Rose)

    • Hi Sean, yes we think it’s rather funny now, but at the time her remarks felt a bit like a slap in the face. We’ve moored there quite a few times, including last bank holiday where the space between both bridges was quite full. We’ll be ready next time 🙂 Best regards, Jennifer

  3. I second Steve’s comments. The Nene and Ouse guides are also well out of date and show e.g. moorings that don’t exist and don’t include e.g. the Friends Of The River Nene (FOTRN) moorings. I found it well worth joining FOTRN for £10 as I used a few of their moorings. Also worth looking at the boater’s rough guides for Ouse, Nene & Middle Level at Entry to the Middle Level at Stanground requires 24hrs notice, also preferred for Marmont Priory Lock. Tina the lockie at Stanground will sell you the key and windlass you need for about £25 I think. John, NB Samsara.

    • Thanks for your advice John, we don’t have a key nor a windlass, yet. We’ll try and obtain them at Gayton Marina. Good advice re joining Friends os the River Nene! They sound like they do a lot of good work. Best regards, Jennifer

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