Firstly an apology to CRT. They did ring me back yesterday and I missed the call, it must have been while mud plugging and letting down water. I also rang the CRT chap back and apologised to him for not getting back to him.
Again we woke to rain, the first boat, a wide beam went down at 6-30 and kindly left the bottom gates open, we left at 9 am. We had been moored directly opposite the new Grove Marina. As you can see it has stopped raining for a few minutes.
We carried on down to Leighton Buzzard in the rain and stopped at Tesco to top up with a few items, as we left a Napton Narrowboat appeared through the bridge and followed us down to Leighton Lock where we waited for them. It turned out they were all bell ringers. The rain got heavier and we both carried on to the Soulbury Three where the entire crew of the hire boat turned out setting locks ahead, closing up etc. The Volocky went back to his hut in the dry once he saw we were all OK. Below the lock the water level was a good foot up from where it was when we came up the locks and our new found cruising friends pulled over for lunch. Although it was raining there was no wind at all. At Fenny Stratford lock there were three boats waiting to come up and a lady with dog waiting to cross the swing bridge. “ came up, we went down and then a third went up before the bridge was closed again. We spotted these two Cormorants perched in the top of a dead tree. I often hear people say they couldn’t move their boat for weeks because the engine had failed, this chap with a 70 footer found a way with a Seagull. Later we saw the other extreme with a some what larger power source. This time 130 hp where as I think the other was only 2 hp.
Its the first time I have seen these notices on the tow path, still someone coming up behind you at 10 mph if your ambling along the tow path is bad enough. Note it still says Waterscape so must have been around for a while.As well as Cormorants we saw several Kingfishers and some very tame Herons, like this chap who sat just above our heads as we went by.
Just before Penny Land we started to catch up with a pair of fuel boats, then coming round the corner I thought they were breasting up under bridge 80a so I held back. It was then that a lady on a moored Narrowboat told me she had just caught them as they had gone passed and they were coming back to supply her. They were good enough to draw the motor forward and wave me through beside the butty, before taking the motor back through to serve the Narrowboat. He didn’t look a happy chappie.
By now the weather was much brighter although the dark clouds were never far away, as we crossed Cosgrove aqueduct I spotted a rainbow out to the east of us.
One more lock and that was Cosgrove Lock that was almost empty, here we started going up hill again, the last two days have all been down on the Grand Union. Passing through the lock we moored on the 48 hour visitor moorings for the night at 7 pm.
21 miles and 8 locks in 8¾ hours