Saturday, 26 April 2014


IMG_6080 Chertsey IMG_6083 IMG_6082 top Foxton locks

It was 5.30 am when I heard an Otter call and swirling water sounds around our boat. I went to look out of the side hatch and sure enough it had caught a fish and hid in the reeds opposite to eat it noisily. It then emerged and swam off along the canal. It was our first sighting of an otter during our 4 1/2 years aboard Oakfield. I would be interested to know if any other boaters have seen them too? Anyway we were up early and decided to pull the pins, then cruise along to the top of Foxton Locks ready to descend. We passed Chertsey moored on the arm, the central white dot is the swan on her nest. We made hot drinks on board and ate hot bacon and mushroom rolls from the Cafe for our breakfast, yum! Then we booked in with the nice volunteer lockkeeper. As I emptied the top lock a Robin was stood on the side and he dipped down several times to snatch ‘breakfast’ from the wet  lock walls.

IMG_6084 Yellow wagtail nest IMG_6087 tripboat moored B61 IMG_6091 Swingbridge

Tucked in-between the bricks of a lock wall was a Yellow Wagtail’s nest. Amazing venue really considering the disruption caused by all the boats using the locks. We were the only boat on the flight, just the way we like it. I asked the locky how many boats had used the locks over the 4 day Easter period. He said 20 on Friday, Sunday and Monday and 25 on Saturday, gosh a total of 85. He also said that the most they had  ever handled there on any one day was 45. Once down the locks the Cabin Boy hovered in the basin while I disposed of our rubbish, then opened the little swing bridge for him. Looking towards bridge 61 we could see the new trip boat Harry Stevens on it’s mooring. Hmm, it looks a bit wider than old Vagabond doesn’t it? We were now on the Market Harborough Arm of the Grand Union Leicester Line. The next swing bridge was the road bridge which I opened then took a picture of Oakfield coming through. Just look at that lovely big new house on the right. Don’t think that was there when we came this way 2 years ago, luvly jubbly!


Kath said...

We didn't see but we did hear some otters (confirmed by a regular fisherman on the stretch) about 1 am one night last year. We were moored out in the middle of nowhere between Crick and Welford. I would have loved to have seen them but it was patch black!
Kath (nb Herbie)

Del and Al said...

Hi Ann, it's pretty special seeing an otter :-) Have seen them twice. Saw one playing quite happily in the water between The Bridge at Napton and the bottom of the Napton flight, and last year saw a Mum with 2 babies on the bank near Leighton Buzzard! Del says, where was your camera lol !! Enjoy Harborough x

Angela said...

I'm an otter obsessive but have never seen or heard one since we have bee cruising around over the last ten years.
A xxoo

Wozie said...

Unfortunately I did not have my camera at the ready as it was only just daylight.
I was just so amazed and just looked on spellbound at what I was seeing and hearing.
The Cabin Boy was still snoring away in bed!
Thanx Del and Al, I will be looking out for more now, camera at the ready.