Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Stoke Hammond to Blisworth

Wednesday 29th July 2009
An overcast day, which eventually turned to heavy rain, with few let ups.

Today was a day marked by many lockless miles. We took it in turns to steer, travelling around the twisting bends of the canal as it skirts Milton Keynes. We've seen several more 'community boats' today - there are a lot of them in this part of the canal at the moment.

The first lock of the day was Fenny Stratford, which needs the swing bridge left across it at all times when the lock is being used. So a BW key is needed to unlock it.

At Wolverton we spotted this interesting craft.

Our next lock was at the other end of Milton Keynes - Cosgrove, where we spent some time trying to rescue a very young duckling which had become separated from its mother and siblings by the lock. David spent some time with a boathook, 'steering' it towards a bucket wielded by Alan - the whole process attracting some interest from onlookers. Having finally caught it we reunited it with its family.

When buying diesel the salesperson pointed out that we were paying £34 pounds more in tax than we would have done last year, and then told us that only very small numbers of people are declaring as much as 60% for propulsion (as we do). She viewed the tax as unenforceable.

Stoke Bruerne flight in the rain, and then through the tunnel - following an extremely slow boat. There was a terrible stench at one point in the tunnel, surely no-one would have done a 'self-pump out'? I do hope not. Then we moored in Blisworth. We walked up to the village to see if the shop was open, but being quite late it wasn't. Alan and I walked around the churchyard in the hope of seeing some 'canal names', but what struck me most was the war grave of the gunner who died on the 4th November 1918 - 7 days before the Armistice.

The churchyard is filled with Rowan trees heavy with berries.

Blisworth Churchyard.

Alan looking dodgy amongst the gravestones - actually trying to hide the shopping bags he was carrying while I took a photo.

Miles: 23.1, Locks: 9
Total Miles: 40.9 , Total Locks: 32.

No comments: