We left our mooring about 10:00 ish this morning. It was a lovely mooring, especially for birdwatchers.
Boy was the wind a challenge, though it wasn’t as cold as we thought.
The village where we stayed, Grafton Regis, has an amazing history. Remember the TV series ‘The White Queen’? The White Queen was Elizabeth Woodville who lived in the manor. She and Edward IV secretly married in a hermitage in the village. Elizabeth and Edward (re War of The Roses Edward) were Henry VIII’s grandparents. Elizabeth is also believed to be the mother of the Two Little Princes who were murdered in The Tower. They were thought to have been murdered on the command of Richard III. (Strangely, Shakespeare also has a place in the village’s history).
Henry VIII used to spend his summers in Grafton, and it was because of him the village was renamed ‘Grafton Regis’.
It’s an awful lot of history for a charming little village with a population of around 200!
We passed Kingfisher Marina, where a ‘sense of humour’ obviously resides. I wasn’t quick enough to snap a notice on the wharf, though it went something like: “Please don’t let your dog pump out on the wharf!”
Plenty of evidence of how hard boaters of old worked – I’m always fascinated by the rope marks, from horses towing the barges, left embedded into the metal guards. Just how many years does this ‘wear’ take?
Sometimes we just can’t see what’s around the corner!
We passed the Navigation Inn by Thrupp Marina.
By the time we sailed under the beautiful Cosgrove Bridge (#53) the wind had turned cold, and we were getting really chilled; we succumbed to temptation and moored.
After mooring, and a hot mug of coffee; the sun came out!
Following a ‘Cyan board meeting’ we decided to slip our mooring, and continue on our planned day’s journey. Three bags of rubbish, water in our water tank being low, the need to visit to the Elsan services, and being moored by a muddy towpath, swung our decision.
At the sanny station at the top of Cosgrove lock, we’d just hooked Cyan’s hose to the water tap when we were asked how long did we think we’d be. The answer was as long as it takes to fill up our water tank!
The lady wasn’t being ‘funny’, and I think she was as ’embarrassed’ at the question as we were. She’d just helped her husband bring their boat up through the lock, and they’d planned to fill up with water.
The water pressure is very slow at this water point (we were warned by another boater), it took about 4o minutes to fill Cyan’s tank. We had a rather nice chat with the boaters while waiting for the tank to fill (after Elsan and rubbish duties completed). They did say they weren’t in any rush… it was just as well!
Left on the wall by the water point were two white mugs, it looks like some boater’s put them down, and they accidentally forgot about them after waiting ages for the water to fill their tank! We ‘normally’ forget the tap connection!
(Just a note: John sent an email to C&RT about the condition of these services – he thought they were the worse he’s seen. Though the rubbish area was locked with a boater’s key, it was filthy, and he had to squelch through filth to get to (pretty full) bins. On the outside of the rubbish area he had to pick his way through the fly-tipping, ie mattresses, tractor tyres, office furniture. The loos were out of service (not that we needed them), and the Elsan point was really grim. We don’t like to complain, but sometimes a situation isn’t acceptable.)
After services completed, I set the lock while John took Cyan through. This is the first lock I’ve done on the Grand Union; they’re big beasties aren’t they!
The man in the boat below (see pic below) shouted to me that he’d shut the gates. I’m confused because he’d winded his boat around, was he going in the lock backwards?
When I looked around a few seconds later, I couldn’t see where he’d gone?
We were soon sailing over the River Great Ouse via the Cosgrove Aqueduct.
The Aqueduct is just like a very mini Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, and ‘almost’ as thrilling! Poor duck, I think we frightened her.
This is the pedestrian side.
Crab apples still on the ground in February! Don’t any birds or bugs eat them? What a waste; still there’s never anything unwanted in nature, so no doubt they’ll eventually break down and serve as fertiliser for the tree.
We’ve moored at Galleon Wharf, just across the way from a ‘brick-brack’ store. (No no no…. I am not going to go in! 😉 )
We cruised approx 4 miles, and through one lock.
We passed several of these contraptions this morning, they looked to be next to a conservation area. Does anyone know what they are?