Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
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1997 Main Voyage - May

Cruising Log Index

River Nene

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Friday 16th May 1997

From to Yarwell Lock No 33 arriving at 1:40 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 35 minutes. 13.25 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.76 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 4 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 13.25 miles and 4 locks, averaging 3.76 lock/miles per hour.

Set off in the rrain which gradually got better. Met "Jack Bear", a 40 foot narrowboat from Northampton Boat Club, at Wansford Lock. Moored just below the lock for lunch.

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From Yarwell Lock No 33 to Warmington Lock No 31 arriving at 5:05 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 30 minutes. 4.5 miles and 2 locks, averaging 2.6 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 7 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 17.75 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.35 lock/miles per hour.

Moored at Fotheringhay (2). Saw 2 kingfishers, 2 Mandarin ducks; Canada geese, swans and moorhens, all with young; and a cormorant and lots of rabbits. Had dinner at the Falcon (2 french onion soups, Seafood au Gratin and Rabbit 20.70) A cloudy day withsome rain at first.

Saturday 17th May 1997

From Warmington Lock No 31 to Wadenhoe Lock No 24 arriving at 1:50 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 40 minutes. 12.25 miles and 7 locks, averaging 4.13 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 11 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 30 miles and 13 locks, averaging 3.66 lock/miles per hour.

Met quite a few boats coming down river (there's a rally on at Peterborough Yacht Club) including some from the Middle Nene Cruising Club at Titchmarsh and some from Northampton Boat Club. Stopped for lunch, etc. on the King's Arms moorings above the lock. Had lunch (Cheese & Chutney sandwiches 2.25 each) and dinner (Chicken Provancal and Drambuie Fudge 22.50 for the 2 of us) at the pub. Saw two kinggfishers. A warm day of light cloud and some sunshine in the middle of the day.

Sunday 18th May 1997

From Wadenhoe Lock No 24 to Titchmarsh Lock No 23 arriving at 10:15 am. The time taken was 1 hour 0 minutes. 2.5 miles and 1 locks, averaging 3.5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 12 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 32.5 miles and 14 locks, averaging 3.65 lock/miles per hour.

Had a pleasant tri up to Titchmarsh, lots of Canada Geese with young, warbler, lapwings, pheasants, etc. The upper lock gates were flooding water in to the lock and the lock was three quarters full before Beryl could fully close the guilotine gate. At the next bridge the water was too high for us to get through so we had to moor and wait. Tried again after lunch but were still a bit too tall to pass so called it a day. A cloudy morning giving wat to a warm and sunny afternoon.

Monday 19th May 1997

From Titchmarsh Lock No 23 to Irthlingborough Lock No 17 arriving at 12:00 am. The time taken was 4 hours 0 minutes. 10 miles and 6 locks, averaging 4 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 16 hours 45 minutes. total cruising time, 42.5 miles and 20 locks, averaging 3.73 lock/miles per hour.

The river was down to its normal level this morning. Passed Fenec Fox just after Woodford. Stopped for lunch on the new moorings above the lock.

From Irthlingborough Lock No 17 to Wellingborough Bridge arriving at 3:10 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 15 minutes. 5.75 miles and 4 locks, averaging 4.33 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 19 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 48.25 miles and 24 locks, averaging 3.8 lock/miles per hour.

Moored and filled with water (very low pressure) then went shopping at Tesco's. A fine sunny morning but cloudy with showers in the afternoon, warm.

Tuesday 20th May 1997

From Wellingborough Bridge to Whiston Lock No 8 arriving at 12:05 am. The time taken was 3 hours 0 minutes. 5.37 miles and 5 locks, averaging 3.46 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 22 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 53.62 miles and 29 locks, averaging 3.76 lock/miles per hour.

The people on a narrowboat moored above the lock at Doddington told us that Whiston Lock was closed. At White Mills Lock we saw a Great Tit that had a nest under the steps of the footbridge. We went on to Whiston where a group of Environment Agency men were waiting for a crane to arrive. The weir mechanism had malfunctioned and colapsed at the weekend, hence our problems with the high water at Titchmarsh. After lunch we walked into Whiston village then on to Castle Ashby. A cloudy day with some sunny periods and showers in tthe afternoon.

Wednesday 21st May 1997

From Whiston Lock No 8 to Whiston Lock No 8 arriving at : am. The time taken was 0 minutes. 0 miles and 0 locks, averaging 0 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 22 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 53.62 miles and 29 locks, averaging 3.76 lock/miles per hour.

Spent all day waiting for the river to be dammed above the colapsed sluice. A new Ownership Share boat from Stibbington, called "Slipstream", arrived and moored next to us They were on the way to the Braunston Show. The people we saw at Doddington came and moored next to them so that we were three abreast. We walked into Cogenhoe for some shopping and had lunch at the Royal Oak (Gammon and Pineapple 4.95 each). The lock was openned again at 6pm and the other two boats went off but we stayed overnight. A dry and mainly cloudy day.

Thursday 22nd May 1997

From Whiston Lock No 8 to Northampton Lock No 1 arriving at 12:47 am. The time taken was 3 hours 50 minutes. 7.12 miles and 7 locks, averaging 3.68 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 25 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 60.75 miles and 36 locks, averaging 3.75 lock/miles per hour.

Set off at 8.20 and stopped for water (38 minutes) at Northampton before going through the lock and mooring for shopping and lunch. Had Lunch at the Wig and Pen (Cheese Baked Potato 2.75 each) and went to Sainsbury's.

River Nene to Grand Union Northampton Branch

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From Northampton Lock No 1 to Wootton Lock No 14 arriving at 4:10 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 40 minutes. 3 miles and 4 locks, averaging 4.2 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 27 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 63.75 miles and 40 locks, averaging 3.77 lock/miles per hour.

Passed two boats coming down to Northampton. Moored just above the lock. A mostly cloudy day with some brief sunny intervals in the morning and some light showers in the afternoon.

Grand Union Northampton Branch to Grand Union Main Line

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Friday 23rd May 1997

From Wootton Lock No 14 to Weedon Station Bridge No 24 arriving at 12:45 am. The time taken was 4 hours 45 minutes. 9.75 miles and 14 locks, averaging 5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 32 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 73.5 miles and 54 locks, averaging 3.95 lock/miles per hour.

Came up through the 13 Rothersthorpe locks, most set in our favour. The lock keeper helped us through the top lock. Had lunch just past Weedon. Saw the Luciedan Boat Co narrowboaat that we first saw at Doddington.

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From Weedon Station Bridge No 24 to Braunston Top Lock No 6 arriving at 5:20 pm. The time taken was 3 hours 35 minutes. 8 miles and 7 locks, averaging 4.19 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 35 hours 50 minutes. total cruising time, 81.5 miles and 61 locks, averaging 3.98 lock/miles per hour.

Came up the Buckby flight with Minzapint. Came through the tunnel and moored before tthe top lock. Rang Fred, Joyce's sister is here with her boat Summer Lady, but we haven't seen it yet. A dry day with a cool breeze, cloudy with increasing sunny intervals. Braunston Bottom Lock No 1: The cabin of Fazley - 24th May 1997.
Braunston Bottom Lock No 1: The cabin of Fazley - 24th May 1997.

Tuesday 27th May 1997

From Braunston Top Lock No 6 to Braunston Junction arriving at 10:10 am. The time taken was 2 hours 15 minutes. 1.25 miles and 6 locks, averaging 3.22 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 38 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 82.75 miles and 67 locks, averaging 3.93 lock/miles per hour.

Came down the locks with Psmith and a cruiser. Stopped for water then got some diesel from Ivor Batchelor (68.8 litres for 13).

From Braunston Junction to Calcutt Top Lock No 1 arriving at 12:55 am. The time taken was 1 hour 55 minutes. 5.5 miles and 0 locks, averaging 2.87 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 40 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 88.25 miles and 67 locks, averaging 3.88 lock/miles per hour.

Saw Nancy Bell and Rutulus at Braaunston. Stopped for lunch by the reservior.

From Calcutt Top Lock No 1 to Birdingbury Bridge No 21 arriving at 3:05 pm. The time taken was 1 hour 10 minutes. 2.37 miles and 3 locks, averaging 4.6 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 41 hours 10 minutes. total cruising time, 90.62 miles and 70 locks, averaging 3.9 lock/miles per hour.

Went through Calcutt Locks with C'est La Vive. Stopped before the bridge. A mostly sunny day but with some cloud.

Wednesday 28th May 1997

From Birdingbury Bridge No 21 to Bascote Bottom Lock No 17 arriving at 12:50 am. The time taken was 3 hours 20 minutes. 3.12 miles and 13 locks, averaging 4.84 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 44 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 93.75 miles and 83 locks, averaging 3.97 lock/miles per hour.

Came through all the locks with Boreas but they went on when we stopped for lunch.Bascote Top Lock No (Staircase pair Nos 14 & 15):  - 28th May 1997.
Bascote Top Lock No (Staircase pair Nos 14 & 15): - 28th May 1997.

Wednesday 28th May 1997

From Bascote Bottom Lock No 17 to Clemens Street Bridge No 40 arriving at 4:20 pm. The time taken was 2 hours 35 minutes. 4.62 miles and 7 locks, averaging 4.5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 47 hours 5 minutes. total cruising time, 98.37 miles and 90 locks, averaging 4 lock/miles per hour.

Came through the locks by ourselves but met a lot of boats going the other way. Moored to collect the post. Saw Boreas again and Promise (from Bristol).

From Clemens Street Bridge No 40 to Bishop Tachbrook Bridge No 41 arriving at 5:10 pm. The time taken was 25 minutes. 0.25 miles and 0 locks, averaging 0.6 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 47 hours 30 minutes. total cruising time, 98.62 miles and 90 locks, averaging 3.97 lock/miles per hour.

Moored at bridge 43 by the Tiller Pin pub. Had dinner at the pub (Ratatouille and Cheese Suet Pudding 4.75, Lamb Steak in Bernese Sauce 7.95 and 2 Lemon Brulee 2.95) before returning to the boat etc. A fine day with sunshine increasing in the afternoon.

Thursday 29th May 1997

From Bishop Tachbrook Bridge No 41 to Budbrooke Junction arriving at 11:55 am. The time taken was 1 hour 30 minutes. 3.25 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.5 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 49 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 92 locks, averaging 3.92 lock/miles per hour.

Did shopping at Sainsbury's before setting off. Stopped 25 minutes at Kate boats for a pumpout (10) and 25 minutes at the bottom of Cape Locks for water. Stopped for lunch just past the junction.

From Budbrooke Junction to Turners Green Bridge No 63 arriving at 5:50 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 55 minutes. 6.5 miles and 21 locks, averaging 5.59 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 53 hours 55 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 113 locks, averaging 3.95 lock/miles per hour.

Waited at the bottom of the locks for 36 minutes (included inthe cruising time) for another boat but none came so we went on alone. About a third of the way up the flight Treyarnan (A 56 foot criuser style narrowboat from Alvechurch) caught up with us and we went to the top together. Moored just past the bridge. A hot sunny day.

Grand Union Main Line to Stratford upon Avon Canal

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Friday 30th May 1997

From Turners Green Bridge No 63 to Lapworth Top Lock No 2 arriving at 12:20 am. The time taken was 3 hours 40 minutes. 2.75 miles and 18 locks, averaging 5.66 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 57 hours 35 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 131 locks, averaging 4.01 lock/miles per hour.

Spent the morning going up the flight. On the way posted our mail at Lapworth Post Office and bought two ice creams at the canal shop. Moored for lunch above the top lock.

Stratford upon Avon Canal to Worcester and Birmingham Canal

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From Lapworth Top Lock No 2 to Stirchley Street Bridge No 77 arriving at 6:25 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 25 minutes. 12.25 miles and 2 locks, averaging 3.23 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 62 hours 0 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 133 locks, averaging 3.76 lock/miles per hour.

Kept going through the rest of the Stratford-Upon-Avon Canal and Moored on the Cadbury's World visitor moorings. Another hot sunny day.

Worcester and Birmingham Canal to Old Main Line (BCN)

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Saturday 31st May 1997

From Stirchley Street Bridge No 77 to Aqueduct over Netherton Tunnel Branch arriving at 1:20 pm. The time taken was 4 hours 25 minutes. 14.12 miles and 6 locks, averaging 4.56 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 66 hours 25 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 139 locks, averaging 3.6 lock/miles per hour.

Came through Gas Street and up Smethwick Locks aalong the Old Main Line. Hit things in the water a few times. Moore for lunch on the aquaduct and cleared the rubbish from round the prop.

Old Main Line (BCN) to Dudley Canal Line No 1

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From Aqueduct over Netherton Tunnel Branch to Dudley Tunnel (North End) arriving at 2:40 pm. The time taken was 50 minutes. 1.5 miles and 0 locks, averaging 1.8 lock/miles per hour. Totals for this voyage are 67 hours 15 minutes. total cruising time, 100 miles and 139 locks, averaging 3.55 lock/miles per hour.

Moored at the Black Country Museum and filled up with water. Had drinks from the Bottle and Glass while waiting for the tank to fill. Moved across to the opposite bank to moor for the night. A hot sunny day.

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Jim Shead Waterways Photographer & Writer
Text and photographs copyright of Jim Shead.
Home Introduction Waterways List Waterways Map Links Books DVD Articles Photo Gallery
Features Contact me Glossary Boats Events List History Local Waterways Help Photo List