Sunday, 13 July 2014

To Priory Marina, Bedford

Wednesday 9th July
6.25 miles, 3 locks

Leaving Great Barford you are supposed to go through the right hand arch, but that is not possible in boats of our length, so a look out is posted in the bow

 and through the no entry we go.

Shortly after the first lock of the day (Willington) went  past the 'Danish Camp' - a place much loved and often visited by the Cleddau crew.  We have been taken there a few times including a memorable Bonfire Night a few years ago.

Past these chairs which are certainly different

I do love wood and I am sure the owners who live in this wooden house do too

The second lock was Castle Mills lock where we found yet another language when referring to locking - penstocks and lock pens

Yet another type of mechanism - just one set of gates set into the side of the lock

Easy does it or the boat swings to the other side

After we had gone through, Cleddau was joined by Artful Dodger from The Danish Camp - it was a bit of a wriggle and jiggle, but they just made it in together

along with their very important passenger - Ozzie the Owl who, apparently loves to travel along the river

Here we are - watching you, watching me, but I am glad to say that neither reacted in any way to each other

It was a good job we had a map for this junction

The third and final lock of the day was Cardington Lock which we visited on 31 Jan this year when the water was so high the lock was open at both ends

I am glad to say all was serene and quiet today

The lock landing area on 31 Jan

and today.

It took a while (each lock takes ages with two boats to get through), but we eventually made it to Priory Marina and we are moored up for a week.

Chris took The Captain to get his car (that is another whole story that I am sure they will tell) and by the time he returned Monty and I were packed and ready to head for home.

A good run home, washing machine was deployed and everything dried in beautiful sunshine.  Friday was a day of appointments.  Saturday we had our 'Boys Birthday Bash' - three July birthdays our son (today 13 Jul), Grandson G (on the right) on the 20th and Grandson N on the 26th.

The cake was made by our daughter.  G is the gymnast, N is the horse rider and the logos are our son's company logo.

The son shone, we had a wonderful barbecue and then a paddling pool was deployed.  The pump was out of action, so the blowing up took a while as adult puff needed breaks!  The five grandchildren waited patiently amused in part by Grandpa and a large bubble wand.  Finally all was ready and the hose was deployed.  Grandpa threatened all and sundry, but resisted temptation. The same could not be said for the youngest (3 in Nov) whose aim was very accurate and he squirted with such an look of innocence on his face!  Thankfully he avoided the adults.  Once they were all dry and dressed we wandered to the play park where a great time was had by all including the 'flying' of some polystyrene birds I had bought at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.  They fly very well from the top of the climbing frame.  Back home for children's' tea.  Our daughter and family headed home, but not before it all became too much for young J.

 Our son's younger two headed for bed and our eldest granddaughter and I completed a jigsaw (another Paxton Pits purchase), but frustratingly there is one piece missing!  Today we took our son, his wife and their three children out for lunch before they headed home.  A quiet evening before lots of domestic duties tomorrow prior to our return to Bedford and the boat late Tuesday afternoon.  It has been a great break at home, wonderful to catch up with the family, but very busy.  No rest when we get back to Bedford as we need to clean, polish and paint prior to the River Festival next weekend.

Total stats since setting out on 23 May:

253.75 miles, 197 locks

We have just over 1 mile and 1 lock to go to make it to the Bedford River Festival and that will see part 1 of this adventure over.

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