Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Where's the Ducks ?
On Tuesday morning we pulled pins at 07.55 and headed down towards Marsworth junction this is where the Aylesbury arm joins the Grand Union canal. we wanted to do this arm last year but due to a lock collapsing and the canal being closed for many months we were unable to do so. Before going down the arm we took on water and got rid of waste as we had been told that there was a lot of building work going on at the end of the arm and we were not sure what services would be available there.After filling and dumping we then reversed back to the junction and the first 2 locks which are staircase locks.
OOPS !! We have now gone from double locks to single locks and Carolyn is still keen to steer the boat. When she did double locks i opened both gates for her so she had over a 14 foot gap to steer through, but now on single locks that gap has been halved . Luckily for Inca she caught the bricks with the rubbing strake ,so a bit of paint will put things right. As for the lock entrance…Oh dear !! . But i must admit it is not a very good bit of brickwork and looked like it had been recently repaired,and as you can see the mortar looks green. PS No i didn't shout at Carolyn when she did this ……….much .
With me back on the tiller where i belong and Carolyn back doing what she does best we came to some very low pounds between the locks. On a couple of them Carolyn had to let water down from the locks behind us.
For some reason this boat wanted to turn around above one of the locks. The only trouble being that his boat was longer than the canal was wide and he became a bit wedged. Luckily Carolyn was on hand to free them up.
We passed this massive factory just before Aylesbury and it turned out that it is the largest dairy in the world and was only completed earlier this year.The Arla Dairy can produce 1.5 million bottles of milk a day and will be supplied by 900 farmers.It has the potential to process 240,000 litres of milk per hour and one billion litres a year. And the reason you cant see it very well is that it is camouflaged . There was a dairy in Totnes that closed a few years ago and a lot of local people lost their jobs but you can see that it could never have competed with a set up like this.
This is lock 12 on The Aylesbury arm and its the lock that collapsed last year. This is the newest lock we have ever been through , but Carolyn did comment that the “bloody gates are a bit heavy and not well balanced”
The closer you get to Aylesbury and the canal gets narrower and narrower . With long stretches of single canal its a good job we didn't meet any boats coming the other way.
After six and a half hours we finally make it to the end of the Aylesbury arm and can not believe that we are the only ones here. There are brand new empty pontoons in the basin , but there is no signage to say whether we can use them or not. We are moored next to Waitrose so we will stock up and try and find out if we can stay here or not. It would be a great place to stop as we are right next to the new theatre and the main Town is just across the road and we all know how much Carolyn needs her retail therapy.
So far we have not seen any Aylesbury ducks so we will keep our eyes open for them, Although I'm not sure that you see them in the wild . I have heard that they are very tasty and make an excellent duck roast .