Saturday, 19 September 2015

Going Solo

Saturday 19th September 2015
Milton Keynes Marina to B61 near Yardley Wharf
11.75 miles, 1 lock

We returned to Milton Keynes Marina yesterday after our week at home and some great times with the family, but mostly Jamie who is nearly 4 and needed childcare Mon to Wed.  He is a very good boy (well all the grandchildren are, of course, perfect!) and we enjoyed some fun times swimming, a trip to the play park and playing Kerplunk.  He was patience himself when we had to do the boring things in life like shopping, cutting grass and cleaning.  One of our closest friends was flying in to Birmingham on Wednesday evening to visit her Mum near Gloucester coming via us.  Lynn and I had a good time shopping on Thursday morning and it was great to catch up for the first time in quite a while.  One very obscure happening - on Wednesday evening Lynn noticed something in Monty's water bowl:

The question is how did it get there?  Did Monty bring it in or did it hop in whilst the door was open when Chris was cutting the grass?

We set off in warm sunshine this morning past nb Cleddau, with us going "solo"for the first time in three months.  First we had to wriggle our way round the marina and then find somewhere to stop so we could return the key to the jetty and get our deposit back.

Then we were off and as we were about to leave the marina a boat we had said farewell to (for the last time we thought) on 7th September, but there they were again - Ian and Irene on FreeSpirit.

We disturbed this fisherman - he had a large fish in his beak which he dropped as we went past - I was a bit slow with the camera.

Then past the junction that will join Milton Keynes to Bedford - unlikely in our boating years, but I do hope it will happen one day.

We were only home for a week, but what difference a week makes - our first sighting of autumn colours.

We have never travelled though Milton Keynes before and we were both amazed by the amount of parkland everywhere on both sides of the canal.

Today we came across several boats that we considered to be somewhat over crowded.  This day boat left the marina one hour before we set off and we caught them up within an hour of starting.

Thankfully they pulled over shortly after we caught them up to take on yet more crew members. Monty and I had jumped ship as it was quicker to walk!

Just before Gifford Park Services someone has been planting sticks with signs trying to shame irresponsible dog owners.  The signs state 'there is no such thing as a dog poo fairy'.  There were quite a few planted and the worst thing (in my opinion) is that there is a dog box less than 50 yards away.  I wonder if the signs do any good?

We were almost an hour at the services and still had not got near the tap, so we moved on.  The day boat had gone past, but thankfully they had stopped for lunch.

This one is for Cleddau's Captain - we hope the engineer sorts your engine out on Monday, but at least it was never as bad as this!  To be fair to the boat owner - they were working on it when I took this picture.

Overloaded boat 2 - the boat maybe for 12 or so, but it looked rather full to us.  The crew were in good spirits with no signs of alcohol around - there was no noise and they were very polite.

Another day boat that looked a little full, but they did ask us if we thought it would be okay for them to turn round here.

Just before Stonebridge which has a station very close to the canal there is this train mural which goes on for possibly a couple of hundred yards.


Our one lock of the day - Cosgrove

where there is this garden - the sign says 'This garden was designed and constructed by Capability Smiff'.

Then there is this Gothic style bridge at Cosgrove built in 1800

Just past Cosgrove we came to the first sight of open land seen today

I did wonder if any of these every get it wrong and end up in the canal?


We are moored somewhere near Yardley Gobion and we hope this sunset does give us a good day again tomorrow before the promised rain on Monday.

Around 8pm a narrow boat went past and then about 10 minutes later a cruiser went the other way. The latter had no engine on, so it appeared like a ghost ship slipping past in the dark!  Mind you the noise when they did put the engine on was a lot louder than our engine.  It is good to be back afloat, but we are missing our cruising companions as is Monty.

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