Thursday, 31 July 2014

A very pleasant morning

Up at 5 once again this morning; it’s a bit cooler but that suits me fine ...
... George sets of to the first lock of the day at 20 to 7 and I’m soon set to follow on Still Rockin'

At 10 to 8 I had come through 4 of today’s locks and was now in lock 44 by the pretty Waterman’s Cottage built in 1909.
George had gone off to set the top lock at Bulbourne and was taking such a long time, the lock was also taking forever to fill!  A problem in that the pound between the two locks ... it was nearly dry so he was letting down a couple of locks of water ...
... just before 8 the CRT guy took over supervision of the locks and water and gradually the lock filled and I was able to exit lock 44 and cruise carefully in the middle of the pound to the top of the Marworth flight.

George took over the steering from here but I was pleased with myself as I’d negotiated most of the curvaceous pounds of the 6 Marsworth Locks extremely well (except the top one where I’d not realised that water was being pumped in from the left which pushed Still Rockin’ out of line for the lock and knocked her about a bit - I was just a bit annoyed with myself!)
We were pleased to see that the Toll House at the junction of the Wendover arm is now being lived in.
Lots of moored boats at Bulbourne on both sides of the canal, some double-breasted making passage interesting to say the least! 
Holland built as a horse boat in 1905 ...
Unusual sculptures created here too

Cruising through the long cutting that is Tring Summit was lovely with dappled shade from the huge trees ...
... and it was here at 10 to 10 that we met the only other boat on the move that we saw on our cruise
Bridge 136 Cowroast where we found our mooring for the rest of the day, we shall move on again tomorrow.

Cruising, a cheerio and an hello!

Another early start on Tuesday morning, by 10 to 8 were were in lock 38 of the Marsworth flight where there’s a date stone of 1885 and 1914 on a couple of the lock bricks.
Making use of the facilities as Marsworth with the junction of the Aylesbury Canal to the rear of the picture
We were saddened to see that the White Lion is still boarded up, it used to be such a busy pub, I wonder what happened.
We took a walk round the reservoirs just after 3pm, the sun was still very hot.
A sad teddy waiting patiently!
Wednesday saw grand-daughter Alice (right) and her friend Ruth packed up and ready to start their journey back to Glasgow.
Off they go with George, taxi to Leighton Buzzard, train to Milton Keynes and onwards to Glasgow;  Still Rockin’ is very empty ... and quiet!
A couple of hours later whilst waiting for George’s return I had a visitor - Dave Winter who has been following the build and launch of Still Rockin’ and before that our adventures on Rock ’n’ Roll (among many other boating blogs).  It was good to meet you Dave, thank you for stopping to introduce yourself.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Towards Marsworth ...

Half six start this morning in the hope that water levels are better than they were yesterday

First lock of the day at Slapton and the girls are still fast asleep!

We’ve seen a lot of wide beams this past week or so but very few actually moving!

Very excitable and noisy Lamas at Seabrook top lock ...

... with it’s very smart lock cottage - I wonder what the two dates denote 1821-1932 - anyone out there know?

Waiting for a boat to descend the bottom lock ...

... and for George to bring Still Rockin’ ...

... through the swing bridge ...

... a sad sight here.
Our destination has been reached! 180-degree panorama of our mooring half a mile north of Marsworth - a bit noisy on the flight path into Luton (I think) but it will do for us.
Trip boat coming towards our mooring, wider even than we are!

She’s back! (Catch-up 2, 27th July)

Grand-daughter Alice is back with her friend Ruth for a few days ..
The last time we came this way in August 2009 construction of this marina was just starting, and there were very nice moorings along this stretch of towpath which are sadly no longer there.

The pound (stretch of water ‘impounded’ between two locks) was very low by this time as boats left yesterday's canal festival at Leighton Buzzard and we were really struggling so we pulled over at Bridge 118 at lunch time, we’d see if the situation improved later on...
... which it did.  At about 4pm the water level was considerably higher and we moved up to moor for the night below Slapton Lock ready for an early start in the morning.

Leighton Buzzard ... catch-up 1

Saturday 16th July another  fairly early start for us leaving our mooring at 07:45 not too far to go today ...

The Globe Inn whose claim to fame is that it is close by where the Great Train Robbery occurred in 1963!

Breathing in as we pass the Wyvern Shipping hire boat base

Tesco moorings at Leighton Buzzard.
This is where we hoped to moor up until late afternoon so that we could pick up our grand-daughter and her friend from the station, but we discovered that there is a festival on here today and very soon it will be extremely busy with trip boats and that all the visitor moorings have been reserved for trade boats.  We pulled in and I did a quick shop and decided to move on a little past the boats ... little did we know ...

... that there would be so many!

Comfortably Numb trading ...

Raymond and Nutfield

A bit of a pinch point here!

Harland & Wolf built in 1935

A mile further on we managed to squeeze in at the end of a long line of moored boats just below Grove Lock, so George had a long walk back to the railway station to collect the girls who arrived safely albeit 20 minutes late from Scotland.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Bridge 109

Couldn’t resist posting these two pictures taken an hour apart last night ..

I’ve not ‘enhanced’ them in any way and love the colours.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

An early start before it gets too hot

We’ve discovered early mornings!
It really has been so much more comfortable cruising early whilst it’s still cool ...
10 to 8 arriving at Stoke Hammond Lock (once again!)
That’s me bringing Still Rockin’ into the lock - I feel a lot more confident steering her now but need to practice steering amongst the other boats
 No gongoozlers at the Three Locks pub this early in the morning ...
 ... and at 09:30 the sun is burning through the clouds
 10 o’clock and we’re moored up for the day a few miles north of Leighton Buzzard.