We set off this morning at around 9am. Adrian walked up to get Fenny Stratford lock ready while I brought the boat. Here he is swinging the bridge back into place after we'd risen the foot or so.
Stoke Hammond lock is one of our favourites; Adrian is particularly keen on the converted engine house there. Today, a Wyvern hire boat was just leaving as we arrived, but they closed the gate anyway. While we were there, the sun made a brief appearance.
We continued up the Three Locks at Soulbury, where we had to turn all the locks as a boat was ahead of us, nearing the top. All the pounds were short of water. At the top we went along the Jackdaw Pound to Old Linslade where we turned around, and then returned to just before Bridge 109 (a favourite spot), where we moored for lunch.
We set off again about 1.30, and were soon at the top of the three locks. As I'd worked them on the way up, Adrian went to work them on the way down. There was a boat coming up on the middle lock, and he was waiting for a boat which was coming up the bottom lock. They both turned out to be on their way to London, to join the merry throngs trying to find somewhere to moor in the centre of the city. It all took quite a long time, and another boat arrived at the top to go down. This turned out to be a Black Prince hire boat, being moved from Willow Tree in London to Napton. Black Prince and no longer using Willow Tree as a hire base, and it seems the two may have fallen out somewhat. The guys on board said the boat was chained up when they went to collect it on Thursday, and it took a couple of hours of negotiation to get it released. They're due at Napton on Monday, so we're on quite a schedule.
We stopped in the pound below the locks in another favourite spot. One summer evening we watched lapwings in the field opposite. The pound is already a bit low, and if it's true to form will probably drop a bit more overnight. By tomorrow morning we might be sitting on the bottom.
Adrian started making our dinner hours ago -- a pulled pork recipe that's a Vicky Blick special from Canal Boat from about a year ago. It's gently simmering on the stove, and smelling lovely.
9 miles, 8 locks. (21 miles, 9 locks)