Saturday 18th July

Up about 7, but no hurry, since only about 3 hours needed to get back to Gayton. Had breakfast while moored, for a change. Decided to stroll round the market before leaving, which we did at about 9.20. A great relief to be back on proper locks -- especially narrow ones.

On the Rothersthorpe Flight we met a family with their own boat, out for the weekend from Blisworth. The father mentioned that floods had been so bad last winter that at Aynho several boats had been washed up onto the surrounding meadows -- and that the land there was so boggy it was very difficult to get lifting gear out to put them back in the water. The mother also told June that last year on the Nene the weeds were so bad that many boats' engines 'blew up', and that there were broken-down boats all along the river. 'Just like the M4 on a hot day', she said.

Moored at Gayton at 12.25. Final group photo with the boat before leaving. It turned out, by the way, that the mooring spike which had gone missing had fallen behind something or other in the bow section, so that our new one wasn't needed. It was such a nice one, it seemed a pity to leave it behind, so we kept it as a sort of trophy. It was voted that Nick and Penny were the most appropriate people to have custody of it, as they sometimes take a boat out on their own, and therefore the chances are that they will be able to make use of it sooner than Alan, June or me.

This is where my diary ends, but I vaguely remember that once we were clearly coming to the end of the trip, a collective urge asserted itself -- namely, to get back to bathing and washing facilities with the minimum of delay. We didn't, therefore, stop for lunch, but made our various ways home.