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.
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!