The above plan required us to pass through Clifford Hill Lock. Not to be. This is where my chicken counting came home to roost. The EA key bought at Alvechurch at the weekend didn't work. Not to worry, just a short walk to Billings where I discovered that they don't sell EA keys, that they Chandlery closed about 4 years ago and the woman I spoke to was so disinterested that there was no way that we'd be going in there with QISMA.
Walking back to QISMA, I cheered myself up with conversation re key with marina where purchased.
Meanwhile back at the, lock, Alistair had phoned the EA. Told that no-one could help us as they 'were all in a meeting'. Fortunately, by now NB Sweet William had arrived. They had the number,of the river inspector and he promised he'd be with us in 15 minutes, bearing replacement key. Sweet William even offered to swop their spare key with us and to exchange it when they got to Northampton. Now how nice was that? Not needed though as the exceptionally helpful Andy Hall arrived promptly. He explained that a bad batch of keys had been cut and he'd replaced the stock at the marina today. He exchanged ours, apologised and got a booking from us for Northampton Marina in August. All in all a satisfactory ending. Most.
I don't think I have ever written a blog so long on words and so short on photos. So .... Some shots of the beautiful Nene and surrounding countryside ...