Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Monday 31st August - Friday 11th September
Friday 11th - the return journey - what a trip - a monunmental day as George called it!
We did a total of 31.5 lock miles - 7.25 miles and 23 locks from Aylesbury Basin to Bulbourne.
The weather was still very warm and the scenerey great

George has walked all the way except for the mile or so through the weeds
and done all the lockwheeling too - he was shattered at the end of the day - no wonder!

Molly was tired too!

On Monday 7th we upped sticks from Bulbourne and cruised on to Cowroast for services before winding and mooring at Marsworth by the Bluebells Cafe. Off down the Aylesbury Arm tomorrow.

into lock number 1
looking down the first set of locks
The Charolais cattle were interested in the lock operation - he was a big fellow!
I think this was the approach to Puttenham top lock - the willows were very impressive
looking back at the beautiful house on the lock - I'd like to live there!
a stiff lock gate - it was a very hot day - brilliant for September - I hope it will last
the weeds encroach from both sides
but do not heed navigation - fortunately nothing coming the other way!
thought this pony silhouetted against the sky made a good picture
Aylesbury Basin - excellent mooring slot provided by the Aylesbury Canal Society - the towpath mooring was chock-a-block but as we had telephoned ahead and were promised a space we were allowed to moor in a member's slot for 3 nights.
The basin at 6am on the 9th
We loved Aylesbury especially up by the St Mary's church; we had lunch on the lawn between the old graves and from where we sat and looked out over the wall around the church we could have been in the 1800's - it was a peaceful scene. We took loads of photos, but here a just a few.

Market day around the cenotaph

nothing seems to have changed much in at least a century

speaks for itself!

the high alter
time for a pint in the courtyard of the Kings Head
Molly immortalised sitting on the top of a narrowboat on an underpass near the college

glad of a sit down after a long day!

Sunday 6th - Sunset over the reservoir taken at 8pm

a crested grebe on the Tring Reservoir

Tuesday 1st September - on Sunday when we returned to Bulbourne after our trip with my brother and his family we discovered that the alternator had packed up and so had the genset!! We had no jump leads so on Monday morning George walked into Tring and managed to buy some from a garage. He connected them to the starter battery and used that battery to charge the others so at least we managed to get the engine going.

We rang Sam Matts of Foxton Boats as both are still under guarantee - here he is arriving today - our life saver!! He replaced the alternator but couldn't do anything about the genset as time was short and we didn't know how to dismantle the back steps to access it. Graham boat fitter is coming on Saturday - he'll show us how it's done. If Sam can't fix it, he will remove it to get it repaired and return it when we're next in the areas, in the meantime we will need to ensure that the engine is run sufficiently to cope with the washer, freezer etc.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Thursday 27th - Sunday 30th August 2009
Thursday - Upped sticks at 8.30 to set off down the Wendover Arm
George is striding out to get the lock ready round the corner .. and I get stuck on the bank as this morning the bottom of the canal is too close to the top!! Called for help on the walkie talkie and we managed to get adrift using a lot of brute force and the boat pole!

coming up the lock before the dry dock at Bulbourne

George in action on the lock gates

The forge at Bulbourne - some beautiful sculptures.
This stretch to Cowroast is the Tring Summit which has climbed 390' up the Chilterns from Braunston - so it's downhill all the way from here on our way to London (in the nicest possible way - I hope!)

After a peaceful cruise down the mile and a quarter of the Wendover Arm we wind and moor in a lovely spot at Little Tring and walk up the hill towards Tring Reservior.

Bridge 4 - I hope it wont be too long before there is water under here ...

... and boaters can cruise on all the way to Wendover - that will definitely be worth coming back for in the future.

the sun shining on the reservior
Friday - we walked into Tring this morning - about 2 miles - in the rain!! We did a Tesco shop and lugged it all the way home in our back-packs, George reckons we're mad!. Forgot the camera today so no piccies (did take a couple with my new phone, but have not yet sorted out loading the necessary software to transfer them to the computer)
but the sun did come out eventually and created a colourful rainbow on the way home.
Saturday - Another lovely day. Wended our way out of Wendover - on our way to Cowroast for a pump out

our lunch mooring on the way to Cowroast - lovely dappled sunshine

and our mooring for the night at Cowroast - taken at 7:45pm - looking into the sunset ...

... and the other way at the moon rising.

Sunday - started off early to get back to Bulbourne to pick up my brother and sister-in-law ...
... and their youngest son Kye and his cousin Libby

We all had a great day, everyone had a go at driving Rock n Roll - some were better than others!! Sorry to see them leave and wished they could have stayed for longer.

Monday 24th - Wednesday 26th August 2009
Tuesday 25th - Lovely weather today, so we're off around the reservoirs again - round the Marsworth to the main road again (picking plumbs on the way) over the road, round the Tring reservoir and home again, tired but content!
'Home' for a couple of days on the offside between locks 39 and 40
Swans were abundant on the reservoirs

'shakin all over'

I'm sure there was a duck here!

cheers to you too!

George in pensive mode - in a world of his own!

He is convinced that the fairies live here!

two cormorants up a tree - a long way from the sea

the back of the Wendover Arm pump house

He's in fairy land now!

crab apples galore!

Damsons or Plumbs?

these are definitely plumbs - they made a great crumble.

When we got back to the boat and a welcome cuppa - goosey gander came knocking at the cratch window ...

and asked if we had any bread to spare!

Monday 24th - moved off early this morning up through the next few locks collecting water on the way and moored opposite the Bluebell Cafe where we had a lovely breakfast - couldn't believe I could eat so much (greedy, greedy).

I took this photo at 6:12 before we set of - taken into the sun coming up ...

... and this one in the opposite direction - with the heron in flight!

When we moored and had digested that breakfast, we went for a walk around Marsworth Reservoir - the water is very low. We started off by deciding to follow the 'red' trail ... until it disappeared .. then we came to the main road ... no signposts ... so turned left and followed the road ... and ended up over half way down the Wendover Arm. As we came back to the reservoirs the signposts showed the 'green' trail! Apparently Ann and Chas on Moore2Life had similar experiences with these supposedly 'marked' ways!