Monday 30 May 2011

Whitsun Break - Day 2

(Boat Chalice - posted by Cath and Alan)

We got away from the Globe at Leighton Buzzard rather later than we had hoped - failing to wake up for the alarm did not help.  However, we knew that it was a day of mostly miles, with few locks, and that we would just need to keep going until we got far enough to be within striking distance of Whilton the following day.

Working through Three Locks
We got to Soulbury, Three Locks, aware that we were being followed by another boat, but a Springer, moored nearby, announced that he would come down with us.  The other boat arrived soon after and was told by Mr Springer that they would have to wait.  Mr Springer didn't tell us until he was in the top lock that he was winding in the wide pound immediately below the lock.  His right I suppose, but we ended up waiting in the second lock for Mr Springer to wind, and for the following boat to get down to us, while another boat coming up waited for the middle lock that we were in.

Rain was very much a feature of the day!
We could have worked through, however, as we approached the lock I recognised the BW man who was setting the lock for us - he used to work on Sickle, when it was in BW ownership, so I called out to him and asked if he had heard the news of our recent purchase.  Oh, yes, he knew, the Towpath Telegraph had been working well - so we took the opportunity to ask him if he would be at Braunston to give us a few tips.

After that we carried on with the pleasant cc'ing couple who had been behind us from the Globe onwards, although they pulled over when they got to Campbell Park in Milton Keynes. 

Even the mooring rings at Wolverton could have been better thought out!
It was a dreary day, raining almost constantly from mid-morning onwards.  We made a shopping stop at Wolverton, where the new development provides slightly better moorings, and a more direct bridge to the shops than previously.  On the face of it, the re-use of buildings from the old railway carriage works here looked promising, but sadly the development has been done in a way that preserves little more than the facade, and once inside, much of it is roofless, some of it no more than car parking.  An opportunity missed to hang on rather better to some of the rich history surrounding these works.

The "Long Pound" looking up towards Stoke Bruerne village.
After a late start, we had planned to go no further than the foot of Stoke Bruerne locks, but we made good progress, and decided it would be rather splendid to get far enough up the flight for an easy walk to "The Boat" for a pint or two, and our evening meal, (it's a dog friendly pub, and we like those Charlie can go to with us).  We made very good progress up the locks, nearly catching up the Narrow Boat Trust boats Nuneaton and Brighton.  We had not realised these were now ahead of us again - they could only have passed us whilst we went shopping in Wolverton.  We had already decided we would moor in the very pleasant "long pound" near the top of the flight,  We could stop a bit earlier today, and would then at least have a couple of locks the next day, on what would otherwise have been a lock-less day.

Boat "Chalice"
Cook's Wharf
Globe Inn, nr Leighton Buzzard
to "The Long Pound" Stoke Bruerne
Miles: 24.4, Locks: 11

Total Miles: 32.3, Total Locks: 21

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