And So It Ends – 1st September 2019

Our last day.

There was only a couple of hours of cruising today to get back to the Marina at Welton Hythe. We started by heading up the six wide beam locks in Braunston on our own, even though we waiting half an hour for a dancing partner. All the locks were in our favour and lots of boats coming down, so we were up the top in an hour and a half.

There is always such an effort that is put into the garden areas around the locks, and in a lot of cases most of the gardening is done by volunteers.

Pretty much straight after the locks it was into the Braunston Tunnel. It is the seventh longest currently navigable tunnel and can allow boats to pass. It is just on two kilometres in length.

Our last view of the canal which completes our journey as we turn onto the Leicester Arm of the Grand Union Canal.

We’ve always liked this little house that sits at this junction which is called the Norton Junction. There was a gentleman sitting outside the house as we rounded the corner and we reckon he gets to see many examples of poor boating skills or lack of skills as it is an exceptionally tight corner. From here it is only five minutes until we reached the marina.

So we made it and have returned Ange De L’Eau to her stables and still above the water line which Wolfgang and Marlene will be pleased to know.

Our stats for Welton Marina, to London via the Grand Union Canal, out to Bristol and back to the marina via the Oxford Canal are:

456 miles
291 hours
394 locks (mostly wide)
62 days

We were not trying to set a record but we thinks this is pretty full on. We averaged 4.5 hours of engine hours per day which doesn’t sound like much but it felt like a lot. We both had ravenous appetites the whole time and have returned having put on very little weight so we were obviously burning up the calories.

This isn’t the end of the blog as we will head out onto the cut on Tuesday once Marlene and Wolfgang settle back onto the boat tomorrow. We will make our way down to Northampton, arriving on Wednesday evening and on Thursday we will be making our way to a Heathrow via a visit to Cambridge.

We very rarely purchase souvenirs when on overseas trips but we do collect these plaques from the canals. We have about 35 of these now, and time we can organize ourselves to mount them around a map of the UK canal system. There is just one more canal for us complete and that is the Rochdale but that is for another time.

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