Sunday 6th September
Bulbourne Junction to below lock 40 Marsworth flight
0.5 miles, 6 locks
Oh how cold it was last night - I felt chilled through to the bone and had to get a fleece to snuggle into under the duvet to try and get warm enough to sleep! Today, however, dawned bright and sunny and for us a just a half a mile to travel, but 6 locks to negotiate
As Boatwif and I walked to the first lock past the pub there was a lot of preparation for some sort of water based catamaran experience. We are sure they would be heading to the Tring summit away from the locks, so we were never to find out exactly what the event was, but I hope they had fun.
The journey was uneventful - no holds, break downs or anything else of note. We have been travelling uphill since leaving London with locks spaced sufficiently far apart that (for the most part) we had to get back on the boat between locks. Monty had all this off to a fine art - get out and supervise the locking then as soon as the boat was high enough in the lock, run back and get on the back deck. The first lock today and all was well, but when we had nearly finished he ran back to the stern of the boat and we think he was expecting to get on! Needless to say the boat was at the bottom of the lock and had to be barked at for not being where he expected it to be! The locks were all so close together he did not need to get back on, but his face was a picture of confusion. The tow path was busy and we got quite a lot of 'child labour' assistance when opening and shutting lock gates.
We dropped down lock 40, the last lock of this short day, and moored up behind FreeSpirit.
The plan was to go and have a snack lunch at the Bluebell Café. It was very busy, so much so they had run out of glasses so we were all issued a curly straw. Lunch was ordered for which there was a long wait - was it worth it?
er yes... this was the open sandwich that The Captain, Boatwif and I had! Chris had a BLT and even that was substantial. We were going to have a proper meal last night, but were too full, so cheese on toast it was. I am afraid none of us finished the open sandwich, but it was very tasty.
After lunch Boatwif, Chris, Monty and I went off for a good long walk - probably around 4.5 miles. First along the side of Marsworth reservoir
With some great views
Then around part of Tringford Reservoir
Where we spotted this man who seemed to be very content with his lot
The walk brings you out onto the Wendover Arm by Little Tring Bridge, No 3
The brickwork on the bridge is superb and the effect of the sun reflected of the water was fascinating.
This was our first sight of the Flour Mill which is still in full production - it was working, so as this was Sunday we guess it is a 24/7 production line.
The lorry in the background was being loaded with pallets of plain and self raising flour
At the next bridge we found boys being boys - things like this always scare me just in case they get it wrong.
A distant engine was heard, at a distance we could see something black flapping - that turned out to be helmsman's feet!
I am sure someone is missing this
Then a 'proper' boat came along
You can see how shallow the canal is by the amount of mud stirred up as he passed by
Finally nearly back at base we got a different view of Cleddau, Tentatrice and FreeSpirit.
Monday 7th September
Lock 40 to just above lock 33 at Ivinghoe
3.5 miles, 6 locks
I am glad to say that last night was not quite so cold, mind you I did pop a fleecy blanket on top of the quilt, so maybe that was why. Today was the day for a farewell to Irene and Ian on FreeSpirit. They headed off around 08:45 making their way to the Aylesbury Arm whereas we were going straight on and it is unlikely our paths will cross again this year. It has been great fun meeting up with you both and I do hope our paths cross again one day.
This is the Bluebell Café from the canal side.
I just love this bench at lock 39.
The White Lion which looks as though it has been shut for ages
We passed this boat sporting a forest from stern to bow! I am not sure how you get on and off.
There were some great views on this stretch of our journey
A gate paddle out of order with the ground paddle not connected to anything
A Cormorant drying it's wings in the sunshine
These two need a tandem! Daisy and Daisy - how often do you see two boats moored together with exactly the same name? It is a first for us.
We are moored just above lock 32 - a very short walk to the lock in the morning. This is the view across the canal.
This boat opposite us is called Albert Henry, nothing special in that, but
look at the logo on the side - does anyone know if this has any connection to Andrew Denny and his glorious Granny Buttons?
The fields opposite our mooring are part of a 'turf farm' - the grass looks to be very high quality
A lot of the bridges along here are double - a left over from when the locks were singles
The neighbours over the wall beside us are about half a dozen truly free range chickens - we have not spotted a cockerel, so we are hoping we won't be woken too early tomorrow.