Saturday 22 June 2024

June weekend: Day 3

There was rain forecast overnight, but we didn’t hear any until about 7am, and even then it wasn’t much.  It was much more cloudy though.  We had a cooked breakfast, then set to using some Bullet Colour Restorer on the towpath side of the boat.  The cooler and cloudier conditions were ideal.  The side (which is the better one anyway) does look better, but the product wasn’t the miracle cure it makes out to be.  It was about 10.45 when we set off; Adrian brought the boat while I walked the mile or so to the locks.

I had the bottom lock ready and open when Adrian came round the corner, and there were a couple of volunteer lock keepers on duty so we made rapid progress.  We hadn’t seen any moving boats all morning, and the lockies said they’d had two up before us, but nothing going down.

At the top of the locks, we started meeting boats, first a widebeam, then a whole load of narrowboats; we probably saw more boats in this pound than the rest of the weekend put together!  We went through Old Linslade and past the Globe pub, and got to Leighton Lock.  There was a boat to come down, so Adrian went up to help.  The lady said there was no room on the shopping moorings by Tesco.  Then a second boat came along and joined them in the lock, and they said they’d just come from those moorings, so we would find a space.  Once they were down it was our turn to go up.

When we got to the 2 hour shopping moorings (where there’s space for up to four boats) the whole length was free.  We moored up, had lunch, and then walked into town, where the Saturday market was in the main street.  The weather had also begun to cheer up, and was now much better than forecast.

Adrian has been really suffering with his hayfever, and our surgery said he should get something stronger over the counter from a pharmacist.  We did that in Boot’s in town, then came back via Tesco.  Then we went and turned around just through the bridge and started re-tracing our steps.  It takes a while to get to the lock, because there are permanent moorings, then the Wyvern Shipping hire base.

Only one lot of holiday makers were being shown a boat, as far as we could see, but there appeared to be a family having Buck’s Fizz on the terrace of the holiday cottage.  Wyvern appears to be reducing the size of the fleet, as two boats are up for sale, at what I thought was quite an ambitious £38,000 each. After our visit of a few hours to Bedfordshire, we crossed back into Bucks, aiming for a spot before Bridge 109 that we like.  There are only three or four spots here, and this morning three of them were taken — but now one was vacant so we pulled in.  

It’s probably the third best as it’s on a bit of a curve; the plan had been to tackle the other side of the boat, but with most of the length a good foot from the bank, we thought the possibility of a mishap was too high so it’s not getting done!  We have a couple more days!

8 miles, 5 locks.  (28 miles, 8 locks)

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