Monday, 29 September 2014

Fuzzy Duck


IMG_3974On Wednesday morning we pulled pins at 07.35 and after winding made our way back to Leighton Buzzard. The best thing here is that Tesco and Aldi are just the other side of the hedge and as it was so early we managed to pick up one of the 2 hour moorings with no problem and then fill the cupboards and wine cellar (Not that we have a wine cellar, but i have considered lifting the floor boards and removing some of the concrete slab ballast and then making a wine cellar in the space left).

IMG_3978Cruising in company. Stewart and Fran on nb The Boat following us out of Leighton Buzzard.

IMG_3981Another good Boat name.

IMG_3982At the first lock of the day Carolyn decides to jump ship.

IMG_3987This boat passed us on the way and its called FUZZY DUCK. I have never heard of it before but apparently its a pub game where you all sit in a circle and one after another you say Fuzzy Duck. If you answer out of turn or say the wrong word you have to have drink an Alcoholic drink. Often after several drinks people get their words mixed up and end up saying Duzzy *uck or *ucky Duzz , sounds like a good game to me.

We are now moored in the long pound above Church lock and will spend the night here, then in the morning we will pull pins early and head up towards Tring summit and then decide what to do from there.

                                                                                             Happy Days

Saturday, 27 September 2014



IMG_3941We are currently moored 2 miles north of Leighton Buzzard and have Gary on his coal boat and butty moored behind us.His boats were built by Harland and wolff (Builders of the Titanic) in 1936 and are Town class boats. They are named Ascot and Beverley. Gary supplies Coal, Gas and Diesel and we always try and support him when we are travelling through the area that he covers.

IMG_3962Sunrise on the Grand Union Canal…..Just Perfect !!!

IMG_3955If you fancy a canal holiday with out all of the hassle how about this. Its a wide beam Hotel boat and they do everything for you. Its not cheap but what a great way to relax. Mind you Carolyn says Inca is like a Hotel boat with her doing all the work and me as the grumpy guest .

IMG_3971Brandy before the sun rises over the Yardarm.. Oh!! Carolyn and Francis ……What ever next !!!!

We have now been here for nearly a week which is a long time in one place for us, although we have said we need to slow down a bit. The plan now is to reverse back to the winding hole (turning point) turn and then head back in to Leighton Buzzard and re-stock from Tesco and Aldi. Then empty poo cassettes, fill with water and dump the rubbish. We then plan to head south with Stewart and Fran and then climb up to Church lock and hopefully catch a few large Carp .                                               


                                                                                         Happy Days

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Strike the pose



We are currently moored 2 miles north of Leighton Buzzard and are with are bestest friends on the cut, Stewart and Fran (Striking the pose) from Narrowboat The Boat. We have been joined by Gary the Coal boat and every morning we meet up to discuss the day ahead. Carolyn and Fran sort out their shopping forays in Leighton Buzzard and us men sort out the days Carp fishing. We have bet a vast amount of money on the heaviest caught fish of the day.

With us each putting 10 pence into the pot it is a very serious competition to catch the biggest fish …………..Lets catch fish.

One day we will probably wake up and discover that this is all just a dream, But until then we will just carry on living the dream !!!!!

                                                                           Happy Days

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Lucky Hamish

IMG_3945This is our dog Hamish and he is the luckiest dog in the world.
IMG_3931For some bizarre reason he decided to run out in front of this harvester as they cut the corn in the field next to our mooring. Luckily the driver spotted him in front of the cutter blades and hammered the brakes on and just avoided Hamish being sucked up into the cutters.
IMG_3942 HamishDoes anyone know what a Teapot placed on the roof of a Narrowboat means ?????. We didn't and when we found out we couldn't believe it.
IMG_3937After the farmer finished cutting the corn field the Muntjac deer soon moved in to eat all the leftover corn.
IMG_0185WOW… This is the biggest fish that Carolyn has ever landed and does she look happy or what. It weighed in at 11lbs and 11 ounces and what a beautiful looking fish it is. I am going to have to look out as my personnel best is 15 lbs. 4 ounces., and now she is trying to beat that. We are now locked in a battle to catch the biggest fish and we will just have to see who will win !!!!
                                                                       Happy Days

Friday, 19 September 2014



IMG_3845Last weekend has to be one of the busiest we have had since we have been on the Grand Union Canal and everybody seemed to be in a hurry. In the end we got so fed up with being bumped about that we put springs on our moorings both fore and aft. The rule of the waterway is to pass moored boats at tick over speed, but you wouldn't believe the amount of ignorant gits people who don't abide by this rule.

IMG_3851There has been so much wild fruit this year and Carolyn just can not stop picking it all.

IMG_3872But with Blackberry crumble and Devon clotted cream like this it is well worth the effort. And yes it tasted as good as it looked…..Well done Carolyn !!!

IMG_3878I never realised that there would be so much maintenance to do on a Narrowboat. I like the boat to be polished and looking good at all times, but it takes such a hammering as we are constantly cruising ,so its good to have a few days where i can really get to grips with it. I now have the port side Polished , Waxed and the Gunnels painted. I now need the towpath to change sides so that i can tackle the Starboard side.

IMG_3883On Monday morning we pulled pins at 08..20 with the intention of getting somewhere close to Leighton Buzzard . After passing Pitstone wharf we came across this sorry looking boat. Still the same as last time we passed this way.

IMG_3897After passing close to where the Great Train robbery happened at Cheddington in 1963 its not long before we then pass the famous Whipsnade Lion which was cut into the chalk in 1933.

IMG_3903The rule with locks is that when you leave a lock you leave it with all gates and paddles closed unless instructed otherwise. We followed this boat down through six locks and at every lock they had left the gates and the paddles open . I just managed to snap this picture of them and shout a few expletives before they disappeared around the corner, unfortunately i don't think they heard me.

IMG_3905Yet another Alcohol themed boat name.

After 4 hours of cruising we tried to pick up a mooring above Church lock but there were none available so we carried on down the next two locks and moored for the night below Grove lock.

IMG_3910Tuesday morning and it was an early start as we wanted to fill with water and then get onto the Tesco moorings in Leighton Buzzard. As you can see the approach to the water points is a little overgrown.

IMG_3913After spending yet another fortune in Leighton Buzzard it was a short cruise towards a mooring at Old Linslade and then meeting up with our good friends Stewart and Fran on nb The Boat. Molly and Hamish were just as pleased to meet up with their mate Jeb. We may have the odd drink or two or three or four, but it will sure be fun catching up with each others news.


                                                                Happy Days

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Out of Aylesbury


IMG_3773On Friday morning we pulled pins at 08.00 and the first job before leaving Aylesbury was to empty the cassette in the Elsan and then off to the first lock of the day. Just what you need at your first lock of the day, a dirty great tree. We managed to move it and secure it to the bank away from the lock ,so good deed of the day completed.

IMG_3788With Carolyn still wanting to steer she kindly let me operate a few locks while she continued taking all a little tiny bit of the paint off of Inca’s hull.

IMG_3806Looking good on the helm.

IMG_3797We had intended to use this Marina which is just outside of Aylesbury. It had been recommended to us by several people, but having found the new moorings in the town more than satisfactory we used those instead and saved a few more quid .

IMG_3801Some serious under pinning is required on this bridge. The bricks are in the bottom of the canal and you can feel them scraping the bottom of the hull as you pass under the bridge. Just another job on Canal and River Trusts long list of jobs to do.

IMG_3804With Carolyn back on the windlass we get to another lock where the gate will not open because of all the build up of rubbish.So its out with the pole and Carolyn pulls out as much as she can so that the gate will fully open.

IMG_3822Further along and we pass Bates boatyard and this has to be one of the largest collections of old wooden built Narrowboats we have seen.

IMG_3826This is the closest we have come to seeing an Aylesbury Duck. Not the best looking duck in the World though.

IMG_3830If you can not have a garden next to your boat then you just as well have one on your boat.

IMG_3833After seven and a half hours of cruising we pick up this mooring just before Pitstone. The long day was mainly down to low pounds again on the arm and continually going two or three locks ahead and having to let down water to fill the pounds. With The Chiltern Hills in the background and good TV and Internet this will do us for a day or two.

IMG_3835Not long after mooring who should turn up but Jules and Richard on their coal boat, Towcester. We try to support them and get all of our Diesel ,Coal and Gas from them when we are in their working area . We ended up taking on 122 litres of Diesel , 1 gas cylinder and 6 bags of Homefire ovals coal (ouch ! that hurt the wallet) . Before setting off they couldn't resist the offer of some of Carolyn's lovely scones, made with Devon clotted cream and some of Carolyn's homemade blackberry jam….by the look on their faces I think they enjoyed it !!

And Finally

  Best wishes to David (one of the best Process controllers at SWW) and Sarah who get married on Saturday the 20th down in sunny Devon. We hope you both have a brilliant day and enjoy many happy years together. We will be raising a few glasses of the red stuff aboard Inca to toast your special day.

                                                               Happy Days

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Canal and River Trust



Does anyone ever take notice of these signs that are all over the network ????

                                                                               Happy Days

Friday, 12 September 2014

Four Candles


IMG_3731After arriving at Aylesbury and not knowing if we could moor or not we decided to just go for it and see if anybody says anything to us.

IMG_3746We pulled over on to the pontoons in front of the new building work that is going on around the basin. Once moored up and Molly and Hamish had been walked we decided to have a look around the town.

IMG_3744Four Candles please …Me and Ronnie Barker taking in the sights.



IMG_3755This is what me and my new mate Ronnie were looking at . Its the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre which is right next to our mooring. Ronnie Barker was born in Bedford and started his acting career in 1948 at the Old county theatre in Market Square Aylesbury. .


IMG_3735From the Theatre it is a short walk up through the Arches and into the town.

IMG_3736Its Market day so her ladyship is happy.

IMG_3747What a mess ! . After a couple of days of spending all of my money Carolyn started work on all of the foraging she had done on are way down The Aylesbury arm.

IMG_3765But look at the results . We have 2 jars of Damson jam and 3 jars of Blackberry jam. Just the Ticket.

We have enjoyed our stay in Aylesbury and (Carolyn) spent a shed load of money as she we always do when we visit a big town . Once all the building work has been completed in the basin i am sure it will be a great place to moor for a few days. A lot of people don't bother with Aylesbury because of all of the locks on the arm , but it is well worth the effort as the canal itself is a pleasure to cruise and the town of Aylesbury is an absolute delight to visit.

Tomorrow (Friday) we intend to pull pins early and try and get to Pitstone for the night.

                                                                                     Happy Days

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Where's the Ducks ?

IMG_3682On 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.
IMG_3686OOPS !! 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 .
IMG_3693  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.
IMG_3700For 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.
IMG_3705We 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.
IMG_3717This 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”
IMG_3723The 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.
IMG_3728After 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 .

                                                                              Happy Days