Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Marsworth to Aylesbury

Tue 14th September  Marsworth to Puttenham

The wet weather that was forecast arrived in the small hours. Chris and Gill had to get back today, so they left on Eulalie despite the rain. We stayed put and watched the rain get heavier. We were hoping it would give our boat a good wash, but later we found that dirt from the towpath had been thrown up onto the side of the boat by the force of the rain.

Rainy morning in Marsworth

Wet boat

By early afternoon it had stopped, so we decided to leave. We paused first at the sanitary station to empty a cassette and rubbish, before starting down the Aylesbury Arm.

Marsworth facilities

Into the Aylesbury Arm

The staircase locks and lock 3 were in a sorry state with worn out beams and wobbly paddle gear. We checked online later and saw that they are to have new gates fitted in November. The top gate has two handrails, and the one on the inside of the lock is fitted with bolts that scrape the boats paintwork if you are not careful. We warn people about this, but many have probably suffered damage. Hopefully, this problem will go away if they do it right. Two handrails are not necessary.

The top gate, with the unnecessary and unwanted handrail on the left.

Starting down the staircase

Derelict paddle gear at Lock 3

A missing step at Lock 3

Lock 4 is Black Jack’s Lock, and we often compliment the people in the cottage there about their garden, which is always beautiful.

Acer in the garden at Black Jack’s.

There were several boats moored below this and the next lock, and a few more at Wilstone. Thankfully there was a space for us at Puttenham Lock 10, where we had planned to stop for the day.

There are damson trees here – free food!

Country view at Puttenham

9 locks, 2 miles.

Apart from Eulalie and a hire boat first thing this morning, we have seen no other boats moving today. No-one came past the boat after we had moored, except one cyclist at dusk.

Wed 15th September  Puttenham to Aylesbury

After a cloudy start we had a warm and sunny day.

Most of the locks from here on down need to be left with a bottom paddle open, so they were all against us. In the second lock of the day, we washed the starboard side of the boat, as we won’t be able to reach it easily when we are in the canal basin. It was very dirty from the heavy rain bouncing off the muddy towpath at Marsworth.

Dirty boat

Puttenham Bottom Lock 11

Autumn Colours: Virginia Creeper

After Buckland Lock, which only had one paddle working at each end, we saw our church boat
Beacon coming towards us. Eric and Norma were in charge, with some guests from our apartments, including John and Ruzenka. It looked as though they were all enjoying themselves, and they were heading for Wilstone for lunch in the Half Moon. As we passed, we handed over some copies of “How Do Locks Work?”

Beacon on an outing

At Red House Lock there was a huge lorry going across the canal bridge.

The very reedy narrow section

Bridge 11 is still original, with no graffiti!

We used our secateurs a lot, as there were brambles sticking out near the bridges. We noticed more new buildings across the fields, as Aylesbury grows. As we approached our destination, we rang Bryan, who kindly came to raise the lift bridge for us. We filled up with diesel before squeezing down a channel between boats to our berth for the winter.

New housing

The entrance to the Canal Basin

Bryan opened the lift bridge for us

Squeezing back to our berth.

Moored for the winter

We left a lot of the unpacking until tomorrow. James started the car (first time) and went to get petrol, and pump the tyres up. He also tried to go to the car wash, but the road was one way out due to road works, and he couldn’t find the way in! Tomorrow…….

Later we ordered a Chinese meal, and from our balcony we saw Beacon return to the canal basin.

5 locks, 4 miles, 1 lift bridge. Dep 0915, arr 1205

Totals for 2021:

305 locks, 431 miles, 15 swing or lift bridges, 4 tunnels.

Next: back to our “other” life, with a worship team meeting tomorrow, a Canal Society social on Saturday, church on Sunday etc. Next blog will be when we go boating again, date as yet unknown.

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