Our slot for Mr Tesco was between two and three o’clock today. There was no chance of us being bored waiting for 2:00 pm., we were too busy with the normal bits and bobs of
house boat keeping.
At 1:30 pm, after topping up with water, we slipped our mooring, and made for the wharf at Grove Lock Marina. Would you ‘Adam and Eve it’, it started to rain!
At the wharf we brimmed the diesel tank, picked up two bags of Supertherm, and a bag of kindling. Sadly the marina didn’t have any Excel as their stocks are rather depleted because of the recent bad weather. We’d asked permission to collect our groceries from Tesco on the wharf as it was much easier.
At 3:00 pm on the dot, we sailed away from Grove Lock Marina. Without any hesitation we’d recommend this marina, Paul their manager was exceptionally helpful. It was also the first time we’d stayed in a marina that was actually on the canal ‘line’, as opposed to the type where boats are ‘contained’ in an area. Looking through the cratch windows we could watch the ‘traffic’ pass by, whether it was boats, ducks, swans, or the odd cormorant!
A field full of new born lambs…. now when did this happen?
We soon approached Church Lock (#29), it was a tricky manoeuvre to get John off the boat as there was a boat moored on the landing! (Why?) Right next to the moored boat, was another moored boat! We were lucky though, as one of the lock gates was open.
I’ve got a new game, it’s called ‘sailing through locks using a single gate’! Happy to report luck was with me again 🙂 .
Looking at the sky in the pic below, you could be mistaken for thinking there was a swarm of drones overhead. It is actually millions of gnats! Millions and millions of them; I was nervous about breathing! Still, it’s another sign that the season is changing.
We needed earplugs as we passed through the middle of this rookery!
We’ve been playing ‘leap frog’ as boats do on canals, with a young guy in a pretty old cruiser. Think I mentioned him and his spaniel puppy in a previous blog. The lad’s doing his best to ‘get by’! The last time we saw him was back in Leighton Buzzard, he’d been befriended by another single boater in a narrowboat. I’ve been feeling rather guilty about him, and I’d been thinking of getting a bag a stuff together for him, including a bag of dog food for his puppy, should we ever see him again. I felt even more guilty after John had a chat with the boater the young lad had befriended. The boater said he’d called the ‘Water Chaplains’ to help him. A Chaplain paid a visit to the young man (in all the snow and ice), offered him support, and I think gave him food and little bit of money to help him on his way.
There’s ‘something’ about someone that can still brightly smile, despite being in dire circumstances, and who loves his pet as much as he loves his dog ‘Patch’.
We saw this young man again today, just as we’d left Church Lock, only this time he was on the stern of a really nice widebeam. The guy was sitting happily with his dog on his knee, he’d been spruced up, and was talking to a man who was on the tiller! As we passed he gave up a huge wave and a smile, though we didn’t quite catch what he shouted to us. I’m so relieved he looks to be OK.
We must be close to Whipsnade, according to the Whipsnade Lion carved out on the hill.
We didn’t cruise too long, mooring around 4:00 pm in a very secluded spot, which is close by to where the infamous ‘Great Train Robbery’ took place.
Looking at the weather forecast for tomorrow, it looks like it could be windy!
Wanted: Photographers to help document the canal’s wildlife https://t.co/vCcEsnV1QJ
— CRT Press Team (@CRTComms) 13 March 2018
We did two miles, and one lock today.