Sunday, 30 April 2017

Bank Holiday Weekend: Day 3

Late yesterday afternoon the sun came out and the temperature went up; we had the side hatch open until about 8pm. This morning wasn't as overcast as yesterday, or as the forecast had predicted, but it was a bit breezy. We set off at a little after 8.30; it seemed like a long time since we'd been beyond here into Leighton Buzzard. At Leighton lock I left the camera on the boat, so Adrian started snapping away.

At the Wyvern hire base we counted 14 boats moored up -- on occasions we've been past in the winter there have been as many as 35 there. It meant there was plenty of room to get through, and people had even moored on the towpath opposite.

I went cautiously through the bridge after the shopping mooring, as you can't see very much. Once I was through I found the Jules' Fuels boats coming towards me, breasted up. At least there's a winding hole there so there was plenty of room; almost anywhere else along here would have been worse.

We carried on to Grove Lock, where I used the little arm below the lock to turn around. The wind was pretty strong and not entirely helpful, but we got round easily enough and started re-tracing our steps. We went past the Jules' Fuels boats on the shopping moorings; we knew they'd be stopping to serve the long term moorers here, because one of them had asked if we'd seen them. Back at Leighton Lock, a boat had just arrived below but it was in our favour we we went down first. We passed last night's mooring spot about three hours after we'd left it.

Yesterday, one of the boats moored near the top of the Soulbury Three had been feeding the ducks, and I'd counted twelve ducklings. The lady said there had been thirteen to begin with. Today, all remaining twelve were still present and correct.

At the Soulbury locks, we had to turn the top lock, but could see another bkat coming up the bottom one and soon to go into the middle. That meant we could leave the gates open and cross in the pound. It was the Bromley Youth Trust boat, which we also saw yesterday.

There were a couple of volunteer lock keepers om duty, so the gates of the bottom lock had also been left open for us. A boat conveniently arrived at the bottom, too, so we did all three locks without having to close a gate after we'd left a lock.

We continued just a short way on, and moored in another favourite spot. One summer evening we watched lapwings in the field opposite. The water level is a bit low, and the chances are that it might fall a bit further tonight, but we'll see. After lunch we washed the side of the boat, as the really dirty side was now on the towpath, and I cut up some pallet that the new fridge arrived on for kindling. It's been in storage under the bed. It's been partly sunny this afternoon, but also very blustery at times.

10 miles, 5 locks. (27 miles, 11 locks)

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