The Audlem flight is fifteen locks; at eight I decided to make a start. Just as I was untying the ropes I spotted 'Drusilla', the crew of which I'd been chatting too at Grindley Brook queue, doing the same, so suggested they go ahead and I wait a few minutes so they weren't stuck behind a single hander. The hire boat moored between us obviously heard what was going on, and ran out and pulled their pins - so I found myself third in the queue that wasn't there minutes ago. I feel sorry for Russel & Lesley on 'Doris', who were very quickly behind me, but were not only lovely and helpful but stopped for water after three locks so I didn't feel rushed. Looking forward to a pint with you two.
Got through in around four hours, mainly single handed, only crossing a couple of boats, one of which stole an empty lock as I walked up to open the gates, opened the paddles then ran away back to the boat... my gain, I got to put the kettle on, and didn't help them work down the lock. ;-) Did I mention the rain? In fact a thunderstorm... Then the Adderley locks, another five.
Stopped in Market Drayton (after topping up 35l diesel at 68p/l) for internet for visitor planning & the usual charity shop & food run. ALso spotted Marmaduke, so got to chat with John & Cathy and meet the dogs. Decided a little too late to press on, and finished the Tyrely locks by headlamp, which was a bit daft, especially as I managed to get grounded on the rocks after the first lock - damn my habit of closing lock gates behind me (some people do seem to think it's optional, like the HB I ended following up Audlem).
Pressing the right buttons - Most of the locks we have encountered on the Nene so far have had a guillotine gate at the downstream side, with conventional "vee doors" as they call them...
21 hours ago