A couple of boats went past early (while I was still in bed), and another couple, both Wyvern hire boats, went by while I had my breakfast. It was 9.30 by the time I was ready to leave, and as I let go of the bow rope, another Wyvern boat came round the corner. I was glad, because it's easier if there's another boat to share the lock with; of course they pulled in at the water point. When I got to Cosgrove Lock, another boat was arriving to come up and as the lock was in their favour we worked them through first. By the time that was done, a crew member from the hire boat arrived and asked if they could come in the lock with me. I put Briar Rose in and we waited just a couple of minutes for the boat to arrive. It was driven by a woman who was trying a lock entry for the first time, while the man of the party was planning to work his first lock. She was delighted when I scored her helmsmanship as ten out of ten. The hire boaters let me get back on board while they worked the lock.
I stopped at Wolverton to go to Tesco, then carried on in the sunshine. The park side moorings at Great Linford were empty, so I decided to stop there for lunch and a walk. The park is very well kept; there's a huge manor house, alms houses dating back 400 years, and a church. There's also a collection of art workshops.
As it was so sunny, it seemed a shame not to boat on for a bit. The problem was where I was going to turn around: the next winding hole was just a couple of hundred yards further on; according to Pearson, the one after that is beyond Fenny Stratford Lock. But the Nicholson guide shows a couple of winding holes in Milton Keynes. CanalPlanAC agreed with Pearson, claiming there was nowhere to turn before Fenny Stratford. I decided that I'd carry on through Milton Keynes, turn if there was a winding hole, but if I had to carry on to Fenny, then so be it.
The canal through Milton Keynes is rather attractive, especially on a sunny day. It's not really what you'd expect (apart from going under the dual carriageways).
The first possible winding hole was just after Bridge 82, so I approached slowly in order to check it out. It turned out to be a fully formed, full size turning point. I'll add it to our map. I retraced my steps just a short distance and moored opposite Campbell Park. It was very warm, right up until a rain shower came over. A couple of boats arrived and moored on the park side while it was raining.
8 miles, 1 lock. (9 miles, 1 lock)