Friday, May 23, 2014

Moving on from Stoke Bruerne

We left our mooring at 8:30 on Monday morning, a good couple of hours earlier than we would normally start to move out, but in time to avoid pushing our luck with the 48 hour limit. We descended the locks solo in warm, breezy weather and continued towards Milton Keynes. After Thrupp Wharf, we were in new territory, never having come this far south before - well, not for 20 years anyway.

We stopped at Cosgrove village to buy bread and have lunch. Moving on, we missed the left turn at Cosgrove Lock, and found ourselves navigating the Old Stratford Canal, the remains of which is only a few hundred yards long. Reversing out with red faces, we turned into the Lock, to be joined by another boat going the same way. As we came out of the lock we were greeted by the crew of NB Etoile du Nord, who had been moored opposite us at Yelvertoft for some time.

The Grand Union from here on is wide, almost river-like. Not always deep, but very picturesque much of the time. We came into the outskirts of Milton Keynes, but couldn't find suitable moorings until we came to a lovely, isolated spot by bridge 75, to the north-west edge of the town, where we spent the night.

It was a very warm night, but we were awoken abruptly at 6:15 by the sound of a heavy downpour. I hurried out to put the cratch cover up - we don't really see the foredeck as an all-weather space-, but the rain only lasted five minutes. The rest of the morning was dull and overcast, but it had started to clear by the time we set off, and we moved on under blue sky with fluffy, white clouds, and the sun burning down through the gaps.

Traffic on the canal was still light. We're not used to seeing so many wide-beam craft as we were seeing now, and are totally puzzled as to how some of them, with high canopies over the stern, and even tall masts, could have got where they are. Most of the bridges are far too low.

We moored just below Stoke Hammond Lock 23.

Quiet, and beautiful, just how we like it!

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