A bit of a rude awakening this morning.. We were about to get ready to drop the lock and get moving when a boat came through. Fair enough – but.. this one had a boat tied up at the side (double breasted) and was also towing a third!
With the side winds.. there was no way to avoid us, and bang, crash, scrape.. all three went bouncing off us on their way to the lock.. Which of course took ages for them to man-handle the boats through. The two breasted up boats went down first.. then the lock was re-filled and the third (unpowered) was hauled in with the ropes lowered, hauled out again and re-tied to the back of the only one with an engine.. and off they went. I believe this will not be the last we will see of them – there not exactly getting a move on.. and as they are now in-front.. we will catch them up, it’s just a question of when!
And another accident.. the sign in the photo hides a secret. Celeste was busy untying the bow line – which you can see the ring for.. just next to it, stepped backwards and her leg disappeared down a 2 foot hole that the sign was in – right upto her knee. One soggy foot and grazed leg later, she is onboard with Anna sorting the wounds, whilst I get on with getting us moving!
Eventually were down and out of Grove Lock and on our way through Leighton Buzzard.
Past “The Boat Yard” (not on the map!) and a familiar boat being worked on. “Witchcraft” was one of the boats located in north Rugby during the lock down.. seems that there is a bit more work needed – in addition to the RCR call out that she had to do to get the alternator replaced – during lockdown!
The old spot we stayed at some weeks ago is full, but there is space further up which wasn’t available – so the usual flip-flopping of boats in this area is happening OK.
Not sure I would want this one.. but.. if I did – I would certainly get a nice big cover over that stern deck so when it’s stationary for a while, there is plenty of space, plus it would make an extra, rather large room – even if it is outside and colder than the rest in winter!
On approach to the main section of Leighton buzzard, there is a water point immediately before a bridge – and our friend with the 3 boats was there using the water point, and doing their best to not block the bridge.. a squeeze later and were past, under the bridge and haven’t lost any plants from the overhanging tree!
Time to stop at Tesco’s to get some food in, and for a quick run to the post office. I’m staying on board as it’s a work day.. and I have stuff to get done. Whilst everyone was away, unfortunately, the 3 boats came past us.. so no luck there, they are still infront!
( The wide beam in the distance we will see again later… )
Once were done here, shopping done, post done – time to get going..
And I thought our’s listed a bit with everyone on the same side when using the seats.. That doesnt look too good to me!
On past Wyvern Shipping Company – with all the hire boats starting to be taken out after the lockdown was released.. with a lot of stay-cationers wanting narrow boat holidays now..
Onto leighton lock.. and.. the three boats are still not down the lock yet! After a wait of about 30 minutes, were finally in the lock – with the wide beam mentioned earlier, turned around and joined the queue behind us.
Whilst waiting – I was talking with one of the crew of the wide beam, which happens to be a hotel boat Kailani on it’s last trip on this canal. With lock 31 and 71 out of commission to wide beams – when they they finish this cruise, there having to arrange a crane and truck to ship the boat to the Thames at quite a bit of expense! They have more bookings for the boat on the Thames than this stretch of the Grand Union – so have to get the boat to the customers some how. I wonder if CRT are going to be given the bill as the lock failures are due to their lack of maintenance..
Once down and out of Leighton lock – the next 1/2 a mile took over an hour to do – guess why!
Eventually, the boat in-front of us managed to get past the three tied together boats.. now our turn – but with this side wind it’s not easy as he’s wandering all over the canal.. the wide beam behind me isn’t too happy either as its worse for them to travel along in gear.. then neutral for a minute.. back in gear for a little while.. back to neutral..
Eventually, they got to where they were going and pulled in – finally we can get a move on as these delays mean I’m working late tonight now!
And Kailani was glad to finally be past too!
Once at the three locks.. there was no room above the locks – so we need to keep going. Down the 3, and there is room below – so this is where were spending the night. Soon after, Kailani was also down and out of the three locks, but there not stopping here tonight – carrying on through to a planned mooring further up the canal.