2nd August 2020
Wildlife of the day A Red Kite swooped down and took something, probably tasty, from the canal.
Graham started off at silly-o’clock while I stayed a-bed – I blame the drugs!
As usual, it was a pleasant cruise through Milton Keynes with the added bonus of lovely sunshine. There were a few boats about and it pleased us to see more hire boats out. At Fenny Lock we paired with some newby hirers who were out for an extended weekend on a Wyvern boat – the consolation prize for not being able to take their planned holiday in the USA.
Grandad was at the tiller and quite perplexed by it all. Most of the family stayed inside and were leaving him to it. He ttok the ‘Jannock School of Boating’ short course through Stoke Hammond, Soulbury and Leighton locks and was quite enjoying himself so they decided to continue on to wing below Grove lock before returning to their base. They came from Barry in South Wales and had heard about the hordes that had turned up there this weekend, they were pleased to be away.
When we arrived at Grove lock a ‘numpty’ and his crew were busy tying his sailaway boat to the lock landing so that they could go to the pub. When asked he reasoned that this was the only place available to moor. We pulled across and tied to a moored dumb barge opposite whilst the lock was prepared and Graham pointed out that where he had tied up was reserved for boats to use when locking up or down. They then proceeded top pull his boat back and tie it across the winding hole.
This was when the hirers arrived and tried to turn their boat there with great difficulty. We awarded them 10/10 for their efforts when they finally made it round. ‘Numpty’ could not work out what they were doing as he thought they were just going up a side arm. Graham then pointed out that it was an official turning point and that he should not moor across that either. There were about 4 boats moored after the winding hole so moving back was not practical so once were were in the lock Graham told him that he could moor against the dumb barge like we had which would leave both the winding hole and the lock landing available to other boats. As we entered the lock this is what he did.
Brenda took Jannock in through the open single gate and a child in the pub garden shouted “that’s amazing” and both he and his little brother clapped. There was a lovely ripple of laughter around the garden so she took a bow and curtsied to yet more laughter.
We moored for the night ‘out in the sticks’ (under.burst.economies) below Slapton lock and later the ‘numpty’ cruised past and were very pleasant by now. As they returned the other way later, they even slowed down to pass us.