At our mooring at Stoke Hammond, and the previous one at Bridge 109, we'd seen birds wheeling over the fields making a strange whooping sound. A bit of research revealed that they were lapwings. In flight they're black and white; on the ground, you can see they have a big bit of plumage on their heads. I'm not sure I've ever seen one before.
This morning was another bright sunny day. We had a fairly leisurely start, and set off about 9.15. I walked down to Stoke Hammond Lock. It's joined the ranks of locks on the southern GU which have notices asking that the lock be left empty, so I was pretty sure it would need filling.
While the lock filled, a tern landed on the telephone cable overhead, and squarked. It was soon joined by another, carrying a fish. The adult, I presume, then gave the fish to the juvenile, which swallowed it whole. It was really quite a special moment. Click on the photos to see them bigger.
We carried on through Milton Keynes, where a marathon was getting under way. We stopped just after the Portway bridge, with the plan of going to the Camphill Cafe, by Bridge 81, for lunch. But having walked there, it turned out to be shut, presumably because it's a Bank Holiday. So we went back to the boat for lunch instead.
This afternoon we've completed the journey back to the marina. At times it's been very sunny and warm, and we've seen more moving boats today than the past two days put together. Adrian worked Cosgrove Lock; above it, a chap pulled off the water point right in front of us without looking, and got a bit of a shock when he finally turned round to find us just a few feet behind.
At the marina, we've moored bow in, for the first time ever. Everything seems a bit strange being round the wrong way! The reason is that Tim is coming in the morning to fit the new cratch cover, and it'll be easier for him with the bow to the bank. I'm staying here because of that, but Adrian has to go to work in the morning, so is heading home once we've had dinner.
15 miles, 3 locks. (42 miles, 14 locks)