Wednesday, 16 May 2012

May cruise - day 5

It's been a day which looks warm, but has been quite chilly in spite of the sunshine.  We were moored within sight of Stoke Hammond Lock, so Adrian walked down to get it ready while I cast off.

As I approached the lock, a boat arrived below, so we could leave the gate open.  Next to the lock is a pump house, which are common on this part of the Grand Union.  While many still have their pumps, and several have been brought back into operation because of the drought, this one has been converted into a lovely house.  It seems that the original part of the building in the kitchen, and there's a two-storey extension behind.

Many stretches of the canal in this area are lined with poplar trees, which look striking because of their height.

Before long we arrived at Fenny Stratford Lock, and this time were on our own.  This is the third time we've been through this lock, but the first where we've had to swing the bridge out of the way ourselves.

Heading through Milton Keynes, we met a number of boats at bridge holes.  The first was a widebeam boat operated by the St John Ambulance.  Then I waited while Nutfield and Raymond came through a bridge.

Adrian jumped off briefly at Gifford Park to go to the shop.  Just after Great Linford Wharf, we stopped for lunch.

Our next stop was at Bridge 74, on the outskirts of New Bradwell.  I'd researched recycling centres in Milton Keynes and found that there was one just a hundred metres from the bridge, and it takes used engine oil.  I walked down with the oil we took out of the engine yesterday, and disposed of it.  It feels particularly virtuous that we've managed to get rid of it by boat!

We were soon on very familiar territory, through Wolverton, across the aqueduct, and approaching Cosgrove Lock, which was empty for us.

A Wyvern hire boat was heading towards the lock as we exited, so we left the gate open for them.  Shortly afterwards, we we turning into the marina, and Adrian was making his first attempt at getting into our berth.  The first attempt was scuppered by the gusty wind, but a second attempt was neatly done.  We're staying on board tonight, but it's back to earth with a bump tomorrow, as we're both back at work.  I have to be in London for a shift starting at 6.30, so there'll be an early alarm call.

15 miles, 3 locks.  (43 miles, 14 locks)


Anonymous said...

oh no! I will so miss living on the cut vicariously through you, thank you sooooooooooo much x

Anonymous said...

The St John's ambulance boat might have been travelling down for the jubilee - I'm pretty certain that they're part of the pageant.

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Adam said...

Sue, that reminds me that just before we turned into the marina, we passed Lord Toulouse, bedecked with Worcestershire posters, which is also going to be in the pageant.

Jo (Boatwoman) said...

I do so love that stretch of the canal. Great photographs. x

Neil Corbett said...

Yes, the stretch between Fenny and Leighton Buzzard is one of my favourites.