Saturday, 28 February 2009

Saturday 28th February, Grand Union, Lindsdale back to Fenny Stratford. 6 locks 5 hours.

Today saw us finding the closest Tesco`s on the internet and going to it.

This might seem mundane but it took the best part of the day to do it!!.
We had to go to Leighton Buzzard anyway to turn around as there is a lock stoppage further down the canal. This turning is called "winding" in canal speak and the wind part is pronounced as in the wind blows and not as in wind the handle, odd, but when in Rome etc. These are hire boats at a boat yard stretching as far as the eye can see and nearly blocking the canal at times. The warmer weather is going to make this bit very busy.

The Tesco store was right on the canal and even had its own moorings for boating shoppers,
sometimes things work out ok.

Weirdest name for a boat yet! "Moose Drool" Why? What were they thinking when they named that? The mind boggles.
On this subject, our own boat name has been generating quite a bit of interest, we have had a man from a lock keepers cottage asking if I was anything to do with the artillary?

Granny Buttons had a chat with us about the meaning of Ubique at the Tesco moorings (Although we didnt know who he was at the time), he had it spot on, we were also hailed by some friends of the last owner as we passed by.

Lots of liveaboards down this stretch, all really friendly. There was a mooring warden cruising up and down these few miles living in his own boat with his wife. What a great job.

On most of these bridges there are still the remnants of the horse drawn era, can you imagine how long you would have to pull a rope across a piece of metal to cut just one of those grooves?

Now when I said lets take a few years out on the canal, I definitely did not think that size mattered.

Not sure weather this boat is connected to NASA or what?
Log fire is calling again, must go.
Until tomorrow, Bye

Friday, 27 February 2009

Friday 27 February 09, Great Linford to Linslade 5 locks 7 hours 15 mins.

A nice long day on the boat today, we were awoken by a jogger thumping along the tow path at 7am (these boats are extremely silent at night and you can hear the faintest noise inside or out). Breakfast was done and dusted when we realised that the toilet was approaching full at an alarming rate, checking the Nicholson guide the nearest boatyard was of course miles away
(All of about 5) so off we had to go.
Slipping our moorings on a really nice springlike day we headed off, we were soon moving through a lot of peoples gardens which does feel odd at the moment but nevertheless quite interesting!

We arrived at Willowbridge Marina in the early afternoon a little bit worried if this was going to be successful as Whilton Marina where we bought Ubique said they have never seen a pump out system like the one aboard and didnt have a clue how it worked.

Didnt need to worry, the people at the yard were all over the boat worked it all out and now we know what to do. They were great and after chatting for a while it turns out that they had taken early retirement only planning to do the canals for a couple of years which turned into a 6 year lifestyle ending with them running this boatyard. mmmm.

Moving on we passed through the strangely named village of Fenny Stratford which although sounding about as rural as you can get was home to the biggest Tesco distribution
depot I have ever seen, it was huge!!!

Bletchley was on the other side proudly boasting its link to the "codebreakers" of WW2.

Near the end of the day three locks in quick succession, Debs called these her first "flight",
best wait for Foxton or the Cain Hill before thinking again.

Going up.

Made it.
Have moored outside of a waterside pub called the Globe Inn at Linslade, took one look at the menu and wine list, decided that we don't need another mortgage, had a pint and left for the boat.
Tomorrow will see us turning around as there are more stoppages below us, cant believe we have got here already!! will have to slow down a bit.

The log burner and a glass of wine awaits now.

Cheers till the morrow.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Thursday 26 February 09. Cosgrove to Great Linford. 1 lock and an Aquaduct.

Late start today as I wanted to get a little bit of work done on the boat.
Slipped from our moorings about 12____ ish.

Another nice day "chugging" we are relaxing right into this slowly but surely.
Lots of this type of bridge along here, this one is in the middle of Milton Keynes, different world down on "the cut".

Passed over our first aquaduct just outside of Old Wolverton, Didn`t get too close to the edge though.

Now this is a good one!
Debs has started her new career as chief wood collector. The rule seems to be you can have it providing you dont chop it down. Okay by us as it is all free heating.

Passing Wolverton, the old and the new staring at each other.
Those luxury apartments are still under construction but there are people living in them already. The old warehouses are derelict.

Cosy fire waiting for us when we moor. That really is a pleasure that you have to do to appreciate it.

A very quirky thing this, it is a tiny tunnel under the canal leading to the pub.

Thats it for now teas ready.

Update to the wednesday post.

Actually managed to get the pics on.
This is a "Gothic Style" bridge built in the 1800s and is unique for a canal bridge. This was Blisworth mill but now flats. Still got character though.

Debs nemisis was approaching "The first lock" it was completely deserted until we started to work through, people seemed to appear from nowhere to watch and we ended up with eleven gongoozlers. All went well though now she loves it.

This was to be our self imposed tomb for the best part of an hour, it does widen slightly inside and two boats can pass. Debs is standing at the bow but it is so dark you cant see her even though we have only just entered the hole.

Ok thats it for this update, will now try for today.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wednesday 25th 09 Blisworth Tunnel to Cosgrove, 7 locks.

WOW! what a day this has been.
It started at 3am with the inverter screaming and shouting about the fact that the domestic batteries had dropped below 12 volts, this for a 12 volt battery bank is not allowed???.

The cause of this turned out to be an unconnected lead to the No1 alternator which had been spinning freely all day yesterday and doing nothing. Holiday time for that piece of equipment is now over.

We headed for the tunnel,

If you ever want to be in the wierdest place that you can imagine, go in there, it is pitch black, there is water pouring from the roof at regular intervals (Air Vents) and it takes nearly an hour to get through. Claustrophobia is not an option.

We left the tunnel and made our way to the first lock of seven going down hill. This was Debs first time doing locks and after a quick lesson she was off.

We have got loads of pictures for this day but we just can not get them to upload to this site tonight. We will try again as the "Dongle" might not be up to speed.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Tuesday 24th February 09 Whilton Bottomlock to Blisworth Tunnel.

Our new adventure started here as we slipped quietly from our moorings these being the final ties to electricity etc that we are used to, This is like pulling a cork from a bottle, not much room in a marina!!
Half way out, hearts beating now.

Nearly there,

And pop!! onto the Grand Union London bound. Ubique steadied herself onto the centre line of the Canal with very little help from me and the good old BMC took up a very comforting chug.

The first bridge was soon upon us,

Taking the tiller so soon,

We had a great five hour cruise getting to know the boat, meeting people (we got overtaken by a walker) it felt more like a holiday than the start of our new lives.
A quiet mooring just shy of the Blisworth Tunnel (second longest in the country) is where we have stopped ready for the morning trip through. That should be good!!!

Joined for tea by a right white feathered poser.

Before we start this blog we would like to thank everyone who came to see us off the other evening and other days, and a really big thankyou to Neil & Sharon who took us to the boat with a few "last minute" items which filled the car. Thanks again you two.