Monday, 14 August 2017

Fender the offender

We drove to MK to visit Ally, Ben and Josiah yesterday, hence no blogging. This morning we set off reasonably early (0830) from Wootton Wawen to get some locks under our belt. The first few were against us, and then we were asked to wait below a lock while a CRT man fished around in a bottom gate recess with a giant aluminium and steel keb. That's it, resting on the wooden bollard.

The gate had been reported as giving problems opening sufficiently. All that was dredged up was a pile of twigs and a broken fender. A boater coming down the locks looked at the fender so I told him it was "fenders keepers". That's him, walking away on the left. He didn't want it.

Still, now the gate opened fine for us, so we were off again. Now we were catching up with a boat in front - all locks having to be turned until we started meeting boats coming towards us.

These sunflowers might look pretty at the lockside ...

... but not to a single hander trying to haul their boat in or out of the lock.

We stopped to chat to fellow BCF members Maureen and Peter on Blue Roan - thanks for the tea and lemon meringue pie. Then we completed the South Stratford Canal, turning right at Kingswood Junction onto the link to the Grand Union. We tied up, and I cycled back down the towpath to retrieve the car from the car park of the Navigation at Wootton Wawen.

This is Wootton Wawen Aqueduct from below ...

... with its fine plaque.

The drive back seemed to take just as long as my cycle ride and was rather less pleasant. I ended up parking at another Navigation pub, just round the corner on the GU.

We shall see if the trains passing overhead disturb us tonight.

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