Marsworth Reservoirs

March 31, 2009

We went off Geocaching yesterday but unfortunately after the second find, the batteries went on the GPS and I had forgotten that I had already used the spares. So that was that but we did go out today and complete the finds.

While we were out and about we came across a pair of mandarin ducks, the female is on a nest.

Pair of Mandarin ducks

Pair of Mandarin ducks

A very pleasant surprise while on a relaxing walk around the Tring reservoirs.

Well we have now started in earnest with the tidying up, I polished the mushrooms for the first time, Frances usually does it but I have to say it is over a year since we went any where near them. I will work on the top of the boat over the next few days, sanding down the rust spots and applying a rust inhibiter prior to painting.

I am starting on a list of jobs to do on the boat while we will have the car. The fire and toilet are number one priorities along with the external paint touching up.

I spoke with Roy from Gerald No 13; I guess meeting people is one advantage of getting out and working on the outside of the boat. Roy had been travelling down with Sue and Keith on Hadar and seen us on Hadar’s blog.

Statistics so far:-

497.37 Miles, 365 Locks, 46 Swing Bridges, 27 Lift Bridge, 6 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator

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Marsworth

March 29, 2009

A rude awakening this morning, well not strictly true we had already had our coffee and some croissants, we were just having a lazy day reading in bed. A boat had gone by earlier and must have pulled our front pin and we had drifted across the canal, the local warden and a chap from the boat behind pulled our boat back to the bank while we frantically got ourselves dressed.

The canal was like a mirror after the choppy waves we have had over the last few days so we decided, now that we were up to travel on to Marsworth. We thought that we were going to do this stretch and all of the locks on our own as there were no other boats on the move, fortunately we met up with Ray and Margaret on NB Longfellow at Slapton Lock, they had just finished filling up with water and so we had some good company through the remaining locks. Ray kindly offered Frances a lift to Tring train station on this coming Wednesday when she has to go into Watford for work.

We passed Hadar on our way here; they will probably pass us in the morning on their way to Uxbridge for boat blacking.

We are now moored up at Marsworth, it was very strange coming back to our old haunt and we look forward to catching up with old friends over the coming weeks.

Today we did 7.34 miles 11 Locks and 1 Swing Bridge

Statistics so far:-

497.37 Miles, 365 Locks, 46 Swing Bridges, 27 Lift Bridge, 6 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Canal Clean Up

March 28, 2009

The weather wasn’t particularly good today so we decided to stay put and do some Geocaching. We managed to do seven between bridge 114 and the Globe, where we ended up having a few drinks. I have to say that the beer was absolutely marvellous; we may need to come back to Leighton in the future.

While we were at the pub a flotilla of narrowboats came and moored up outside, they had been doing a canal clean up from Milton Keynes Southwards, they are going on to the Grove lock which is south of Leighton Buzzard. They had booked into the Globe for food and grub, all 30 of them presumably hungry and thirsty from their days exertions. I think that they recovered the chair that Halfie passed, I also went past it but it was hardly breaking the surface by then.

Canal Rubbish

Canal Rubbish

The clean up boats were from the IWA Milton Keynes branch, they are doing north of Milton Keynes in October.

Statistics so far:-

490.03 Miles, 354 Locks, 45 Swing Bridges, 27 Lift Bridge, 6 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Leighton Buzzard

March 27, 2009

Gaby dropped us off at the train station on her way to the gym and 40 minutes later we were in Leighton Buzzard and the long trek to the boat. We then set off to the Tescos moorings and had a walk around town and some lunch. I have to say that I have never thought much of Leighton Buzzard but I will have to modify my thoughts, there are some excellent small shops, we bought meat from a very friendly butcher, lamb shanks for a biriani and pork fillet for a stir fry and as it was on special we bough a slice of rump steak for good measure. The town centre is a busy little place as illustrated by this photo

Leighton Buzzard

Leighton Buzzard

Tonight we hope to meet up with John and Tanya who were moored next to us for a number of years in Cowroast, I cannot tell you the name of their boat as it is in Russian, I will get the anglicised version when we see them.

We have now moved the boat around the corner and away from the Tesco car park as we have heard that the local yobs do wheelies in their cars until the early hours over the weekend.

Today we did 1.24 Miles 1 Lock

Statistics so far:-

490.03 Miles, 354 Locks, 45 Swing Bridges, 27 Lift Bridge, 6 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Meeting up with the family

March 26, 2009

My father was down from the north visiting my brother and was going to call in at Croxley to visit Gaby and Ralph so as Frances was already down there I decided to pop on a train and meet up with them. We are going to have some grub with Gabs before heading back to the boat.

Unfortunately I walked through Watford town centre and have somehow acquired a further 4 books. Do we need a Sony reader before we run out of room, or can I get treatment for compulsive book buying?


The Globe

March 25, 2009

Up bright and early and after all these years I did my first solo lock albeit with only a one foot drop, but it did have the added complication of the central swing bridge. I pulled over to top up with water and whilst doing so Sogno came along and I asked how far they were going and the said Leighton Buzzard, so I said did they mind if I tagged along with them and that I was single handed, they said it would be ok.

The wind was probably the worst that I have cruised in, it was absolutely abysmal and the occasional heavy rain shower didn’t do much for the conditions either. We stopped of at Willowbridge Marina for fuel. The lady behind the counter got into such a fluster about the self declaration, I was surprised that she did not know that every 10% of domestic adds 4p to the fuel price (well 4.066p to be precise) so for example if you have a price per litre of 59p then this becomes 63p for 10% and 67p for 20% etc., as it was she undercharged me by a £1 or so.

We set off with an almighty gale blowing with the locks proving to be a bit treacherous for the first boat but we managed to get through them without any mishaps. The weather does give a dramatic feel to the landscape.

Landscape

Landscape

Unfortunately I was too busy trying to stop the boat going diagonally down the canal to get any more shots. I did manage to lose my baseball cap (sorry Caroline) while being blown around a fairly dodgy bend with the rain lashing into me and the wind gusting the boat in all directions. So I will need to get a replacement cap as anyone who wears glasses will confirm you need to keep the glasses out of the rain.

By the time we got to the Globe the rain had stopped but the wind was still as persistent as ever.

The Globe

The Globe

I went on a little further as I wanted to resist the temptation to nip in for a quick pint or two, I am operating a strictly drinks at weekend policy at the moment, however weekends can begin on Thursday and end on Tuesday.

Our current loacation

Our current loacation

Today we did 6.88 Miles 5 Locks 1 Swing bridge.

Statistics so far:-

488.79 Miles, 353 Locks, 45 Swing Bridges, 27 Lift Bridge, 6 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator


Fenny Stratford

March 24, 2009

Travelled over 11 miles today in bright sunshine, I was going to stop in Great Linford but the weather was so good I continued on as it is not forecast to be too good over the next few days. Hadar were moored up near Tescos, I think that they must have past us yesterday sometime. There is a long wall just past Wolverton which has a train engine with the name Bill Billington painted on it, the train is pulling along all sorts of carriages and has stop names of places along the canal. I am not sure whether this was done by Bill Billington or in his honour, but it is definitely graffiti free.

Bill Billington Wall

Bill Billington Wall

I have always found this cottage setting attractive at Great Linford

Great Linford

Great Linford

I am now moored up at Fenny Stratford.

Current moorings

Current moorings

There is a lock here which is only a foot high. It was added after it was discovered that the canal was leaking between Fenny Stratford and Cosgrove, so they lowered the level to below the leaks and added a lock. The lock comes with a swing bridge and pub.

Fenny Stratford Lock

Fenny Stratford Lock

Today we did 11.17 Miles

Statistics so far:-

481.91 Miles, 348 Locks, 44 Swing Bridges, 27 Lift Bridge, 6 Tunnels. 3 batteries!! 1 Alternator