Stags Go Boating

SOC Northants Area Sunday day out at Stoke Bruerne.

We started out on a bit of a grey morning and met up with the rest of the crew in the car park of a well known burger joint.

Then it was a short drive to get to Stoke Bruerne, a pretty little village where we were hiring a canal boat for a few hours for a trip on the Grand Union Canal.

All here and lined up – nice few stags out today.

Picnics and cameras at the ready we all got together for the groupie (much better than a selfie!!)

Except for Dave – thinks he got away with it… but no we got him too

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Time to make our way to the boat for the start of the trip – herding up the troops – once you can get them out from under the bonnet!!

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All Aboard!!

It was a short hop to the beginning of the tunnel. The Blisworh Tunnel at 3,076 yards (2,813m) long it is the third-longest navigable canal tunnel on the UK canal network, (and the ninth-longest canal tunnel in the world). At its deepest point it is approximatly 143 feet (43m) below ground level. There was some major rebuilding of the tunnel in the 1980s, with sections lined with pre-cast concrete rings. It was also used to test out the materials that were later used on the Channel Tunnel. One of the unused rings is on display just outside the south portal.

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Once in the tunnel its a 20 minute or so trip, quite interesting when another boat comes along, there is just enough room for the two to pass but not sure I would like to be steering one of them!! Our captain did a wonderful job!!

and then the light at the end of the tunnel….

Once through we enjoyed the peaceful pace that only a trip down the river (well canal) can give.

Around lunchtime we arrived at the locks, seventeen of them as the canal descends to join the navigable River Nene. Here we stopped for a short break, stretch of legs before return journey – didn’t fancy the all those locks today….

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We did spot a heron that had been stood on the side of the canal, think we may have disturbed it as we strolled along the tow path.

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Dave being caught on camera again!!

Back on board for the return journey… time for picnics to come out, a little quieter on board for a time.

Sam kept a watchful eye out just in case anything was dropped, well got to keep the boat clean and tidy!!

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It was a lovely day, thanks to the Co-ordinators of the Northampton SOC for organising the day, we may not have had the sunshine we had hoped, and it may have been a little chilly…..

But the hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows from the cafe really helped to warm us up!!

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