Thursday, 27 September 2012

Winding hole mystery

It absolutely hammered it down with rain last night.  At one point, it was so loud on the roof that I couldn't hear the tv.  However, this morning was far sunnier than forecast.

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)

1 comment:

Paul - from Waterway Routes Maps and DVDs said...

There would be no mystery about winding holes with an accurate and recently verified Waterway Routes map.

That shows winding holes at South Side of Bridge 77, South Side of Bridge 82 and North Side of Bridge 83.