We set off from the moorings at Marsworth at 8.45. The site next to the old BW yard is being built on, and is currently covered in big piles of soil. We passed the entrance to the Aylesbury Arm -- which had originally been our destination. We haven't been able to do the arm before, and long ago planned this week to tick it off the list. However, because of the building works, there's some work to the staircase locks starting tomorrow, so if we'd gone down today we'd have been trapped until Friday.
So we were going up the Marsworth locks instead. The first one was full and had the top gates open, so I feared we were in for a slow ascent. But the other locks were mostly in our favour, and with Brian and Mike looking after the lock the boat was in. And me going to prepare the next one, we made rapid progress up the flight. Even in the rain it's very pretty.
We got to the top at 10am, and moored just along the summit for tea. Then Brian and Mike left us to walk back down the locks to their car, which was parked in Marsworth, so they could head home. The moorings just past the junction are pretty treacherous; there are rings, but they're set in a steep bank of slippery grass, so getting the bow rope was a challenge.
We set off again to cross the summit through the Tring Cutting, where we saw two kingfishers dartmg about. We also saw a crow high up in a tree, which dropped a fish into the canal. It then came down and looked forlornly at its lost lunch. Goodness knows how it got the fish in the first place.
Adrian needed to go to Milton Keynes as his iPhone began playing up the other day, and he'd identified Tring station as a good way of getting there. The moorings before the bridge which lead to the station are in the cutting, but we thought we remembered some more open surroundings a little further on. However, the towpath was like a swamp, and we were getting further and further away from the station. So, after a discussion, we carried on to Cowroast, spun round in the winding hole, and headed back. We moored by Station Road and had soup for lunch before Adrian went to get his train. I boated back to the winding hole near Bulbourne Bridge, and then returned to the same moorings. So I've done the Tring Cutting three times today, and 5 of the 8 miles we've travelled have been merely to get us back to this bridge! Unfortunately the trip to the Apple shop wasn't a great success, and another visit is needed at some point.
We've seen only two other boats on the move today. Tomorrow we head down to Berkhamsted.
8 miles, 7 locks. (36 miles, 25 locks)