Just before we leave Saltisford we find out that the couple on the Black Prince hire boat that is moored behind us… are Dutch. Elly and Ronald, on holiday on a Black Prince boat for the eight time. They’re heading in the same direction so we decide to cruise together for a while. After I manage to buy some rope at Get Knotted we start doing the locks.
It doesn’t take long before it starts raining. And while Lawrance is having his lunch, Ronald and Elly decide to moor up, and wait for better weather. I decide to do the same. And after tea/coffee on WRT it’s dry again. Until just before the last two locks and the staircase.
We have an in-house meal, followed by ‘a glass’ of wine on Beau, the Black Prince boat. That brings back good memories of our first holiday on a narrowboat.
Needless to say that it was a bit late before we went to bed.
The next day starts with a question: long jeans or half jeans? It gets warm so me and Ronald (both on the tiller) take off our fleece. Wrong: it starts raining immediately. That will happen a few times, today.
We do Stockton Locks in two hours, and decide to stop for lunch. Just as I point the nose towards the bank, and reverse to slow WRT down, we hear an awful sound. When I try to reverse again, the engine almost stalls. So that’s steering and breaking gone. Luckily I’m really heading for the bank, and not for nb Sundowner, behind which I want to moor. Of course I bang the bank…!
We check the weed hatch: a thick rope is wrapped, very tight, around the propeller; even the shaft doesn’t move anymore. A sharp knife doesn’t help. I mentioned the word ‘saw’, as in sawing it off. That triggers the word ‘saw’, as in saw.
In the end Ronald manages to get the rope off. Well, rope and pantyhose.
After that it’s easy cruising. With the occasional heavy rain, of course. At Napton Junction we say our goodbyes (in heavy rain). Elly and Ronald turn left, we turn right. Needless to say that from that moment on the weather turns absolutely beautiful…!
We stop at bridge 113, at The Folly. We have a drink (or 2, 3, 4), and a good meal. We both are shattered. Lawrance is in bed (snoring like hell) at around 20:30 hrs, me (not snoring of course) not long after that.