There was a frost on the ground when we arrived at Marsworth for the run back to Bourne End and our home mooring. Today we had our neighbours, Mick and Gill, as crew. They have hired a boat for a week next April and wanted a refresher course as it has been 10 years since they last went on a canal holiday. You can't beat 9 miles and 20 locks, up and down, on the southern Grand Union as a refresher! As we were casting off we arranged with a passing boat to share the Marsworth flight with them but then had another boat pass before we were moving and so had to wait for the pair of them to ascend the bottom lock before we could start the flight. When Brenda arrived at the lock with Jannock she said that we had a partner who was busy winding in the entrance of the Aylesbury arm and would be with us in a short while. He was solo crewed and so Mick and I worked both boats up the Marsworth flight of seven locks. Once through the flight our partner was mooring at Bulbourne for a lunch appointment in the GJA so we continued alone.
After the summit, we then paired with another boat that had been watering up as we arrived at Cowroast lock. This couple had moved afloat in May 2010 in a new boat that the skipper has fitted out himself. His partner appeared glum and despite about 5 months of boating was still unsure about how locks worked. We shared all the way until 'the Boat' public house in Berko where they decided to tie up, without warning, after I had prepared Ravens Lane lock for two craft :0( We continued on alone which meant single gate working which is a lot quicker if you are not mob handed. At the 'Riser' we met Debbi and Simon who, having returned from their allotment, were on their way for an early afternoon pint.
Finally arrived back at Bourne End at 4 pm and then went and fetched the car from Marsworth in time for an evening meal before closing up and heading home.
Gill has written " Started our journey at Marsworth taking Jannock home for the winter. Weather cold but very sunny, a lovely day not that I did much work, I was kept busy making coffee and tea and watching everybody else work. Mick helped Graham with the locks for a little while and handled the steering. Needs some more practice, I'm sure it will all come back to us. Graham's just got back from collecting the car and Brenda's getting dinner ready." in the log book.
I will do a calculation of this years lock/mile tally and publish on another posting.