Late yesterday afternoon, two Jules Fuels boats came down Grove Lock and moored outside the pub (see photo above). They travel together, tied together for the main part, and we didn't want them to get ahead of us and slow our progress. So we were glad to set off towards Linslade and Leighton Buzzard.
The weather was cold, bitterly so at times, with a persistent gusty winds and some nasty, albeit briefish downpours of icy rain. I ended up wearing the same layers of clothing as I'd worn when travelling from Debdale to Yelvertoft in the snow of March 2013. Crazy weather!
Shortly after leaving Grove Lock, we moored at Leighton Buzzard Tesco to do a bit of shopping. Later, as we prepared to cast off, the Jules boats arrived, and moored behind us. What a good job we hadn't dillied at Grove Lock. Or dallied, for that matter!
It was raining, windy and chilly, and we were only one hour away from what we'd normally call lunchtime. There's a two-hour limit to the Tesco moorings, so we moved on just a quarter of a mile or so, past the Wyverne Boats yard, and moored again. We decided that it'd be best for us to eat early and spend the rest of the afternoon in uninterrupted travel. Fingers crossed that Jules would be shopping for long enough for us to have lunch!
We arrived at Leighton Lock less than an hour later, to see NB Suchar Daval pulling away from the bottom gates. She hadn't passed us recently, so she must have only just moved from their overnight mooring, probably having already driven their car on the next leapfrog, and cycled back. We waved as we passed them tying up again, below the lock, perhaps for watering.
|photo - chalicecruises.blogspot.co.uk|
Soulbury Three Locks next, where we found no less than four vollies, who saw us down the flight. I stood at the middle lock, and watched with interest as the bottom paddles were raised, and water flooded into the middle pound.
I came down this flight two years ago, with Jess, and we watched frozen with horror as the water rose in the pound until it overflowed the walls and and ran across towards the doors of The Three Locks pub. It was only the combination of Jess dropping the paddles while I fled down to open the top paddles of the bottom lock that averted disaster.
Today, I watched the start of the same flood. But today, there were vollies waiting at the bottom lock, and when the water started to overflow the gates, they calmly opened the paddles, and there was not even the threat of a flood. I suggested to the nearest vollie that it might be a good idea for CRT to put notices up to warn boaters of the danger, and instruct them in how to avoid it. How on earth would a canal newbie, a hirer from nearby Wyverne, perhaps, know?
|photo - geograph.org.uk|
It was cold. Silly-wooly-hat cold.
|photo - www.sierratradingpost.com|