Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What a difference a week makes.

Saturday 20th April

We arrived at Jannock, unpacked and were off by 10:45. The swan @ Marsworth - No - not a new pub! Down through Marsworth locks and on past Pitstone wharf where the trusty lock-wheeling bike, fresh from it’s winter maintenance, was unceremoniously dumped onto the towpath under the railway bridge so that it could be my trusty steed all the way to Ivinghoe locks. Luckily none of the Pitstone trip or day boats were out today so Brenda didn’t have to perform Jannock descends Marsworth locks any last minute avoidance manoeuvres. We stopped for lunch before Horton lock, the sunshine was nice and warm but we had to stay inside behind closed doors because the wind was very chilly and blowing straight down the canal.

All along this stretch we have been meeting the “Aylesbury Escapees” who are heading south from Milton Keynes where they were craned back into the water having been lifted out from Aylesbury basin. One of the locks on the Aylesbury arm has collapsed and so all of the boats became stuck in Aylesbury. I understand that this was done by CaRT at no cost to the boaters – Well done CaRT!

The sunshine has been a long time coming this year, the cloudless blue sky assuring us that spring has finally started. We’ve hear a Skylark and Woodpeckers as well as the more usual chaffinches, tits and blackbirds. There are lambs in the fields and we even saw our first brood of fluffy ducklings. Going out for a walk seemed to be a national sport. We even saw a teen riding a NEW chopper bike. They turned heads in the 70s and nowt has changed.

Brenda is not quite up to full mobility since her operation but she has carefully closed a couple of top gates that swung open as Jannock entered the locks. Once through Linslade and Leighton lock we started looking for somewhere nice to moor for the night. We finally tied up near Old Linslade, as far away from the railway track as is possible along that stretch.

Sunday 21st April

A short day today as Brenda is aware that she was active yesterday. We set off after a leisurely breakfast, it’s a bit cool in this sunshine but it is still spring. At Soulbury 3 we were aided by two volunteer lockies and abetted a vicious cross wind. Above the locks there were some fishermen sat amongst the bollards on the lock landing. We warned them we were coming in to tie up but they were not happy about the situation. When the top lock was ready Brenda gave them a choice, either they could push Jannock out from the side or she’d reverse to get off the Hood at Soulbury landing and trash their morning. They chose to push her out. As she left them she suggested that if two boats came along together then their fishing would be compromised in any case. As we moved down into the second lock – guess what? Hood and Hawthorne descend the top lock behind us. Hawthorne’s crew confirmed that fishing had indeed been curtailed for the day.

We moored on a suitable 14 day mooring behind a boat with lots of yappy dogs. They were pooping all over the grass either side of the towpath – 5 of them – deep joy! When I got the Di Blasi out to fetch the car, their owner came out for a chat and promptly stood in a fresh landmine - Result! There was much towpath clearing done immediately afterwards.



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