We were riding high on our 1 mile of open canal, having overcome exiting the marina, fueling up, 7 locks and a chipped elbow we were feeling pretty happy with ourselves, and then we saw them, the remaining 7 locks of our journey.
We pulled up to the Watford Staircase Locks at around 1430, mooring up behind two other waiting boats James set off to find the lock keeper to arrange our ascent (Alison and John had thankfully told us of this essential etiquette!). We were asked to proceed up one lock along with the boat in front of us, wait for one boat to come down, before continuing up the Staircase.
I actually really enjoyed the staircase locks, their short succession and the lighter doors were are welcome change and with James’ Dad, the Lock Keeper and myself on them we got up there in no time and my fear of locks some what disappeared.
When we eventually got to the top we were told we were the last boat to be allowed up that day!
So then we had some more lovely wonderful cruising, with James dad taking over the tiller at some point there were a few close shaves! But then we turned a corner and the horror returned at the site of the Crick tunnel!
Tunnels are officially terrifying, James’ Grandma and me quickly retreated to the cabin, thankfully a short while into the gloomy tunnel of hell James popped in to remind us we have electric and could turn the lights on, which was clever and made the whole experience a little less terrifying!
Thankfully we also made it out of there! The half a mile that it is was scary to say the least, with the odd bump and scrape we made it, but we knew at that point we were on the home straight.
We finally made it to Yelvertoft at ten to five, but the wind had picked up massively! Making getting into the Marina all the more difficult. Thankfully a lovely man cutting the grass at the time helped to pull all 2 million tonne of us in the right direction. Once in the confines of the Marina, Neil kindly came out and provided perfect instruction to guide us into our mooring bay.
Breathe a sigh of relief, let the colour return to my knuckles and swear never to leave the safety of the Marina again! With huge thanks to James Dad, Grandma and those who helped us on the journey! 🙂
James & Kirsty