Grafton Regis to Cosgrove : 5 miles, 1 lock
To date : 305 miles, 167 locks
There was no rush to move on from Grafton Regis so we took our time in the morning. We went for a walk around the village which has some very nice houses and a lovely church.... all perched up on the hill. It was such a shame to see at the entry of the church there were signs warning thieves that there were alarms on the church roof to prevent theft of lead from the roof. What's the world coming to!
There were two other boats moored along this very picturesque little stretch and we had a pleasant chat with the couple behind us. We're always happy to pick up a few tips about good places to moor, which places to avoid, which routes to take, what not to miss seeing. Chatting to the neighbours is all part of the charm of canal life.
We saw our first Canada Goose babies. They're actually quite sweet little yellow chicks. The adult geese aren't quite so sweet though. They seem to be deemed a bit of a pest. We think they are rather more aggressive parents than the swans too. No sighting of swan babies yet. Mick threw a piece of bread beyond the little family that were gathered at our galley window so that a goose hanging back over the other side of the canal would get a piece too. Wow! Mother or father goose certainly didn't like that. One of them raced across the canal and tried to drown the poor unsuspecting recipient of that piece of bread.
By the time we eventually headed off it was nearing lunchtime so we decided to stop at The Navigation Inn beside Thrupp Wharf and have lunch there. We'd moored by this pub in 2007 on our hire boat and had a pleasant evening and dinner. Now with the new little marina you can't moor on the armcote opposite. Beyond the bridge is a little difficult to get into the bank (we discovered this when we passed this way the week before) so we were glad to find the mooring by the pub lawn was free. Perfect. We shared a delicious haloumi and field mushroom burger and a caesar salad. It was the first time we've moored at a pub mooring and we sat overlooking nb Parisien Star while we ate our lunch. We looked out for nb Briar Rose - probably my all time favourite "pick of the week". It was a bit hard to pick her out but I think we spied her (from the lovely paint job), bow facing out, beside a boat with an unusual cratch/bow.
We continued on our way then, picking up a bag of coal at the wharf at Yardley Gobian. The weather had been so up and down all day but reaching Cosgrove the sun was out and it was quite pleasant. We went down the very shallow lock to see Barry and Carol walking towards us from the long line of moored boats below. Luckily there was a vacant spot right in front of them so after filling with water we settled in. Barry decided they were in need of water too so he faffed about a bit to reverse back between the moored boats to the water point. By the time he and Mick returned from that task we had the chairs out on the grass and a cup of tea and Carol's homemade cake. We hadn't seen our cruising companions for a week so there was some catching up to do. We parted ways back to our boats for dinner (the sky had turned extremely dark and huge rain drops were beginning to fall) and then re-convened for an evening of Canasta.
So now it's full steam ahead.... destination London!
Lots of pics :
1. Mum following her brood
2. And then she brought them to our window for some bread
3. A slightly blurry close up of one of the chicks
4. - 5. Our mooring to the right and the left
6. - 7. Our mooring looking across the canal
8. Curious mother and lamb
9. - 17. The village of Grafton Regis
18. Pretty view of a canola field
19. All alone after returning from our walk
20. My herb garden
21. Marina at Yardley Gobian
22. nb Parisien Star moored at The Navigation Inn
23. - 24. The stunning bridge entering Cosgrove
25. Towpath tea