Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Fill, Empty, Fill

The CRT email advising Soulbury Locks had been opened after I wrote yesterday’s post.  Now the way is open for the next section of our winter cruise plan we decided to move.  It has been almost a fortnight since we last filled the water tank and the gauge was reading just under quarter full.  After preparing Waiouru Jan went forward to set Fenny Stratford Lock, including swinging to one side the bridge that spans it.  This was the easiest lock of the day being about 12” deep.

There was good water pressure at the tap on the services above the lock but it still seemed to take ages to fill the water tank.

Jan made the most of the main water supply and put on a load of washing whilst we waited.  The former local mooring warden stopped for a chat whilst the tank was filling.  He told us what we had already surmised.  Many of the boats around here never leave the Milton Keynes area. Apparently he had a never ending job of trying to keep boats moving.

We cruised on down to Willowbridge Marina for a pump out.  The lady was very friendly showing me the pump out equipment and informing me it was a self pump out service.  Once I realised it was untimed I was quite prepared to complete the task.  We had a very good pump out for £15.

Stoke Hammond Lock came and went without us seeing a soul.  At Soulbury Locks (3) Jan went forward to check the locks and found two boats in the middle lock descending.  We moored Waiouru and then went to the bottom lock to assist the two solo boaters through the bottom lock.  There were a few gongoozlers braving the cold wind outside the lock side pub.

All three locks were in our favour and the boaters coming down had kindly left the bottom gates open for us……. Even if they didn’t know we were ascending! Smile

The fuel boat Beverley was still moored around the corner from the locks so we stopped to top up all three tanks at 75p/ltr. [Thanks for the information Adam!]

It was now after 1pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch.  However neither of us was hungry and as it as starting to get colder we elected to press on.  Jan noticed the Norman style St Mary’s Church at Old Linslade about half a mile short of our planned destination. 

You almost circumnavigate it on the canal.

We managed to find a mooring just past The Globe Inn opposite the Officers Swimming Club.  There would be more vacant moorings here if boaters were to share rings and close up slightly!

Hopefully dinner will be in The globe tonight.


Don McCoskrie said...

Interesting to read your comment about the former warden. Was it Al from the boat Wol moored on the offside just below the lock? We traveled with him and his wife Rita for three days when heading north from the Thames. He had worked on and around the Grand Union most of his life. Good to hear he is still around (assuming it was him of course).

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Don,

He didn't give his name or the name of his boat. But he mentioned it was blue and 25 years old!