Saturday, 12 May 2012

May cruise - Day 1

I arrived at Thrupp Wharf at about 2pm, having stopped at Tesco in Buckingham on the way.  Adrian was coming up from Dorset, and arrived just after 3pm.  We set off less than fifteen minutes later, heading for Cosgove.  At the lock, a boat was coming up and one was waiting to go down so we joined them in the lock.

Below the lock another boat was waiting, so we could leave the gates open.  The Cosgrove trip boat had just winded, and went into the lock backwards, presumably because it moors facing in that direction.  The old working boats Raymond and Nutfield were moored below the lock.

We pulled in and moored up just before the Wolverton Aqueduct, and went for a walk to see it from below.  There's a little horse tunnel to get under the canal.  The aqueduct has recently been repainted, and there are new interpretation signs, all carrying the Canal and River Trust name and logo, rather than BW.

The River Great Ouse, which the aqueduct crosses, was flowing very fast:  ducks were speeding by without even having to paddle.  It's a very pleasant spot with open fields and well made footpaths, and seems to be well used by the people of Milton Keynes.  You can also walk up the line the canal used to take, before the embankment and aqueduct were built, when locks took boats down to the river and back up again.  One of the boards explains how difficult it was to cross the fast flowing river with a horse drawn boat, and you could really appreciate that today with the water moving so quickly.  There's also a reconstruction of one of the locks.

As we returned to the boat we bumped into Mick the fender man and his wife, Hazel, who moor opposite.  It's turned into a lovely sunny evening, and this seems to be a nice quiet spot.

1.5 miles, 1 lock.

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