Saturday, 30 April 2016

Rubbish rant


IMG_3896After a day moored below Marsworth I got a text from Della (nb Muleless) asking where we were moored. it turned out they and nb Oakapple were only a few locks behind and as there was plenty of room here they said they would come up and join us.

IMG_3889As always when boaters meet up there’s always lots of catching up to do and loads to talk about. With the weather a bit chilly we all decided to board Inca for a bit of a warm up and a drink.

IMG_3893The following day Gary started his project of building a roof box for Muleless. I think it will look very smart when its finished and painted in the same colours as the boat. Anyway Della certainly looks very pleased with it.. I wonder if he is taking orders to build them , Could be a good little side line.

IMG_3884The one thing with this mooring is that we are under the flight path to Luton Airport. Every time a plane goes over Carolyn says that she should be on it as I never take her anywhere. I did later point out to her that the planes were landing so she would be coming home from where ever she went.

IMG_3898Time for us to move on again and after saying goodbye to Rich and Sharon it was cheerio to Gary and Della. Enjoy your trip down the Aylesbury arm ,I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as we did.

IMG_3899After 2 locks and approaching Marsworth Carolyn jumps off with the rubbish. The problem here is that because the facility is next to a road and is not in a locked compound every Tom, Dick and Harry can use it and we have often seen cars stopping and unloading their rubbish. The facility is paid for by boaters and should only be used by boaters….rant over !

IMG_3903There are now only a few houses left for sale at the Marsworth junction,so you will need to be quick if you want one. I’m still not sure that I would want to pay out half a million pounds for a property right next to the elsan and pump out facility which can get rather smelly at times. I can see problems here in time to come.

IMG_3907After the third lock of the day and with me feeling a bit under the weather we picked up this mooring. With good TV ,plenty of Internet and some good walks around the Marsworth lakes this will do us for the next day or so.

                                                                                                        Happy days

Thursday, 28 April 2016

9 become 5


IMG_3822We have had this family of Ducks around us for the last couple of days, when we first saw them there were 9 Ducklings then when this picture was taken there were only 8. When we eventually pulled pins there were only 5 left. Fingers crossed that they all make it to become fully grown Ducks as I have read that sometimes only 10% of Ducklings survive to become Ducks.

IMG_3844On our way again after pulling pins at 09.15 and we soon spot the Whipsnade Zoo Lion. He seemed to be a lot whiter than last time we saw him and we wondered if he had a coat of paint or what ever you do to a massive Lion carved into the hill.

IMG_3859Carolyn always feels sorry for these poor little Calves every time we pass this farm. They are obviously taken from their Mothers at a very young age and seem very lonely in their little pens.

IMG_3872We passed this boat on its mooring and when you are on the end of the moorings and a long way from the water tap you certainly need a few hose reels joined together to get water to your boat..

IMG_3873I do love a good Duck vane. As you can see there is a cold Easterly wind blowing (I think)..

IMG_3878We have passed this boat on its mooring many times and I have always looked at the name and thought that it could mean something rather naughty... But in fact after Googling it I discovered that its a type of Golf club with an iron head, the face of which has the greatest slope of all the irons, for hitting the ball with maximum loft. ..Oh well that was a bit if a dissapointment learning that.

IMG_3881Yet again Carolyn is on the helm while I do a few more locks. She is getting very good at steering, apart from when she ripped off our rear fender at the last lock . But then like she said I have done far more damage than that.  Anyway after another half an hour and passing Pitstone wharf we moored up below the bottom Marsworth lock where we will have another couple of chilling out days .         

                                                                                                            Happy Days

Wednesday, 27 April 2016




In the last 2 days there have been 2 boat sinkings in locks. The one in the picture above happened in Boxmoor lock which is below Berkhamsted on the Grand Union Canal. It looks like it caught the cill as it was decending in the lock. Luckily it was refloated yesterday afternoon..


Then yesterday this hire boat sank in a lock on the Kennet and Avon canal at Cadley lock . It was reported that 2 elderley people had to be rescued from the boat. Again it seems that this boat also caught the cill. As the sign on the lock gates says “keep forward of cill marker”……..


                                                                                                 Not so Happy Days

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Day off for the Captain


IMG_3789We pulled pins from Leighton Buzzard at 07.15 with Captain Carolyn on the Helm and me taking up my normal role as first mate General Dogsbody.

IMG_3794Passing under this road bridge and its a familiar sight of someone painting their boat in the dry. Its very expensive to hire a dock with a cover so this is the next best thing and its free.

IMG_3797OK so I know you don't see this very often , but just occasionally I do grab the windlass and do the odd lock or two for Captain Carolyn to have a rest. But after 2 locks I'm usually knackered and then the Captain has to take over.

IMG_3801Here we go again says Carolyn, Passing yet another pub that's closed. I told her that if it was a Wetherpoons then it would have been open and we could have gone in and had a breakfast.….(Carolyn is not as keen on Spoons as I am)

IMG_3808I'm not sure why this Pig is on the roof of this boat on the moorings above Grove lock, but he won’t be able to escape with all that chain around him..

IMG_3819After Grove lock its a short pound to Church lock. This lock is one of my favourites, but why I just don’t know. Its just a lovely lock in a lovely location and with the leaves coming out on the trees it looks better than ever..

IMG_3839Its a long pound from Church lock to Slapton lock and after just a couple of hours since pulling pins we were lucky enough to pick up this mooring with no other boats around us. Its often good to have other boats close as some people like the safety in numbers,and its also good to meet and have a natter with other boaters...

IMG_3836The view from our front room window on our mooring is just a bridge with a train going over it. In fact the bridge is near Cheddington and is the site of the 1963 Great Train Robbery..At around 3.00am on Thursday 8 August 1963 just under £2.6 million was stolen from the Travelling Post Office (TPO) on route from Glasgow Central Station to London Euston Station. Up until this time Britain had a proud record of operating a vast rail network without a single major robbery. The robbery stunned the nation because of the enormous amount of money stolen. At todays rate it would be over £50 million that was stolen.

We will have a day or two here to catch up on a few jobs and no doubt have a bit of a chill out when the Sun is out.

                                                                                                          Happy Days

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Not me surely !!



My darling number one Granddaughter Curly left me this present on her last visit. She said that she saw it in a shop and it reminded her of me and she just had to buy it .But to be honest I just don’t get what she means. I was told to leave it in the window of Inca at all times. I keep taking it down ,but it just seems to find it’s way back.  Just wait till the next time I see you young Curly !!!!!

                                                                                                 Happy (Grumpy) Days

Saturday, 23 April 2016

St George



                                                                                                                  Happy Days

Friday, 22 April 2016

Secret weapon


IMG_3770Still stopped just before Linslade and its bizarre how we are moored out in the country with loads of good empty moorings around us yet boats moor right next to us. I think some boaters like mooring close to other boats so that there is safety in numbers, but we have a secret weapon if we don't like the look of them. Carolyn is still learning the Sax so the sound is a bit….well you know what I mean. Anyway they don’t hang around long once she starts.

IMG_3773It was good to have a quick chat with friends Stewart and Fran on nb The Boat as they passed on their way North. They had just had a run in with a couple of angry boaters passing through Leighton Bizzard. Why cant people on the cut just chill out and take it easy….Have a good trip and we may catch up with you later in the year.

IMG_3744The next morning and I was up at 06.00 taking Hamish for a walk. We were lucky enough to see these Swans land next to us. What you can’t see and hear is Hamish going mad on the towpath, he has a real dislike for Swans for some reason.

IMG_3748A little later this one came into land and yet again Hamish flipped out.

IMG_3776 At 07.05 we pulled pins and headed towards Leighton Buzzard . We passed this boat with a rather large Spider on the roof.                                                                                                               

IMG_3782Yet again passing the Hire centre in Leighton Buzzard and its a bit tight passing them . I think I would be a bit annoyed if I was in a 12 foot wide beam boat trying to get through here.

IMG_3786At 08.00 we are on the Tesco moorings in Leighton Buzard and head off first to do a shop in Aldi which is just across the car park and then a wine shop in Tesco .Being next to the canal and with the ability to take our shopping trolley right out to Inca we normally do a big shop here.

The guy in the picture on the right is a Canal and River Trust Spotter/Data collector. He cycles up and down the towpath every 7 days in this area taking the numbers of the boats and then feeds the info into his computer. This keeps a record of where every boat on the system is and lets CRT know if we are travelling enough under the terms of our licence.A few months ago we had an e-mail from CRT saying that we were in breach of our licence by not travelling far enough. We had seen and spoke to a Spotter a couple of days before about 2 miles outside of Braunston ,but somehow it never got recorded and they had us down as overstaying and not moving enough. They say that as a guide we should move at least 20 miles in a year .We actually move over a thousand miles a year so as you can imagine I was a bit Pi**ed off. We did go into the Braunston office and we spoke to the local enforcement officer who was very good and apologetic,he said that the system wasn’t perfect and it did fail on occasions. It seems it didn't just happen to us ,but several of our friends have had similar experiences. At least I now have proof of him at Buzzard taking our Boat number.

IMG_3788Anyway, After shopping we passed this boat with a great name,although Carolyn said that if it was my boat it would be called STILLBLOODYWYNGYN ,  I don’t know what she means!.

We then moved on to the services and filled with water and got rid of waste before moving around the corner and picking up a mooring in front of the flats for the night. It was then up into the town for a bite to eat and a visit to the local street market !!

                                                                                                           Happy Days

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Red Kite


IMG_3696We pulled pins from Stoke Hammond and cruised towards Linslade with Sharon and Lew on nb Diana who also pulled pins ,didnt you Lew !. We stopped at the bottom of 3 locks to fill with water. No need for Lew to worry as Sharon expertly brings Diana into the water point.

IMG_3698This is a flight of locks that normally has Volunteer lockies on duty. Today there were 2 very friendly and helpful lockies who helped us up the flight. As we leave the top lock Carolyn decides to jump ship.

IMG_3701The Master back at the tiller as Lew takes over from Sharon.

IMG_3706We picked up this mooring together just before Linslade and just our luck it decided to rain.

IMG_3716After an hour or so the rain eased off and I was lucky to get this picture of a Red Kite. We have never seen them this far North and usually see our first ones when we get closer to The Chiltern Hills.

IMG_3739I was also lucky when He/She landed in this tree. Red kites were driven to extinction in England by human persecution by the end of the nineteenth century. A small population survived in Wales, but there was little chance of these birds repopulating their original areas.Between 1989 and 1994, kites from Spain were imported and released into the Chilterns by the RSPB and English Nature (now Natural England). Red kites started breeding in the Chilterns in 1992 and now there could be over 1,000 breeding pairs in the area. The reintroduction has been so successful it is not possible to monitor all the nests, so the overall size of the population can only be estimated.Since 1999, chicks have been taken from the Chilterns to reintroduction sites in other parts of the country.The red kite reintroduction has proved to be one of the greatest conservation success stories of the 20th century.

IMG_3763The following day and the Sun came out as did the chairs and the wine. We also indulged in a snack of Smoked Oysters like you do when sat on the Towpath (John West £1.99p in Tesco). Tomorrow and we will be off on our travels again heading South .We had a great few days in their company but unfortunatly Sharon and Lew will be off in the other direction, but hopefully we should meet up later in the Summer.

                                                                                                                       Happy Days

Monday, 18 April 2016


IMG_3658After passing through Stoke Hammond lock and mooring up behind friends Lew and Sharon on Nb Diana we were soon out with the chairs on the towpath. Of course sitting out in the Sun nearly always means a glass or three of wine . We were joined on the towpath by Tony (2nd right) from nb Phantom. He has recently bought his boat and was taking it down to London to live on. Unfortunatly he had broken down due to a failed gear lever cable. Luckily though it was soon repaired and he was on his way again. Good to meet you Tony and all the best for your future life afloat.

IMG_3672Later in the day the clouds started to build and we had the odd light shower of rain and a bit of Thunder. We were then lucky to see this Rainbow with another one above it. Then how lucky was I to get this picture with a bolt of Lightning as well.

IMG_3661The following morning who should pass but friends Ray and Diane on nb Ferndale. They stopped and we had a good old natter and a cuppa for an hour or so. They are soon off on their travels abroad and I seem to remember Diane mentioning something about Disney. Have a great time and hopefully we will meet up on the Thames later.

IMG_3665To the rescue again .As always we try and use the coal/diesel boats if we can and with Jules and Richard on their boat Towcester with butty Bideford passing we filled up Inca with diesel and had a new Gas bottle. At 62 pence a litre its still a better price than some of the marina’s and wharfs around here.
After another night here we will be moving off in the morning with Lew and Sharon to share a few locks as we continue our jouney down South….

                                                           Happy Days

Friday, 15 April 2016

Moving on


IMG_3622We have spent the last week at Campbell Park where Carolyn and Curly have been enjoying the Leisure facilities down at Willen Lake and of course the shopping up in the centre of Milton Keynes. Now with Curly back at School in Sunny Devon we can at last pull pins and be on the move again. Staying still for very long just doesen’t suit me. Not long after setting off we passed the boat in the picture above, well in fact its 2 boats except with this one the Butty is on the front and pushed instead of pulled.

IMG_3625We then saw this boat with a lovely cover on the back. If only I had thought of doing something like that instead of spending out over a grand on the one we have.

IMG_3626How about this for a tiller pin. I bet that hurts !

IMG_3630After a short cruise to Fenny Stratford we moored and went and did a shop at Tesco. On the way we passed this bit of ingenious fencing. I must say I’ve never seen fencing like this before.

IMG_3644After a night at Fenny we moved on towards Stoke Hammond and came across these two sheep. They are full size and plastic. Not sure why anybody would want these in their garden ,but there must be a reason…

IMG_3652It was then up Stoke Hammond lock and a short distance around the corner to meet up with friends Lew and Sharon on Nb Diana. We will have a day or two here before moving on again…..

                                                                                                                Happy days