Saturday, 2 August 2014

London-bound: Day 2

We had more very familiar waters to travel today -- the long plod through Milton Keynes.  The good thing was that it wasn't raining.  At Lionhearts Cruising Club, a man on a very smart looking boat called over that he read the blog and the boat tests, so hello to him.  Then at Campbell Park, a bow I recognised came into view, moored up just before Bridge 82.  It was Dolce Far Niente, and a quick toot of the horn brough Stephen and Jayne out, and an invitation to stop.  I could see there were quite a few boats through the bridge, so rather than going on and looking for somewhere to stop, moored up alongside Dolce, the two boats nose to tail.

We must have spent the best part of a couple of hours with Stephen and Jayne, and it was great to see the, and catch up on their news and plans.

Setting off again, we had lunch on the move, as it started to rain.  At times it was pretty heavy, nd breezy with it.  By Fenny Stratford Lock it was looking much brighter, and the sun came out for a while.  By Stoke Hammond Lovk it was raining again.

We arrived at the bottom of the Soulbury Three Locks in pouring rain, and a lock keeper came and told us he was running water down, and we'd have to wait half an hour or so.  It wasn't a surprise, as the pound was very short of water -- a good 18 inches down at least.  Before we'd set off, the sun was out and the temperature had shot up.  Also, it turned out that the Canadian lady on the widebeam ahead of us was Bettie Boo from the Canal World Forum.

When we were given the go ahead to go up the locks, we followed the widebeam.  There were also boats coming down, and we crossed with pairs of boats in each pound.

At the top more boats were arriving to go down, so we could leave the gate open.  We carried on to a spot we like just through Bridge 109.  The piling was free, so we moored up, now in bright sunshine.  It really can't make up its mind today, because the black clouds overhead now suggest we might get more showers.

15 miles, 5 locks.  (18 miles, 6 locks)

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