Took a trip down the Grand Union to Marsworth and then to Aylesbury. Weather was glorious throughout and the welcome at the Aylesbury Cruising Club was as warm as ever. Took Patches, our 14 year-old male cat, with us for the first time. It all went very well since he isn't very active and therefore is easy to control. He enjoyed sleeping on our bed and waking us up in the mornings.
We left Yardley Gobion on Tuesday April 3rd and moored up on Wednesday night at Campbell Park, Central Milton Keynes. Found that one of the domestic batteries had failed, and the calorifier was leaking! Couldn't do much about the latter but with the help of our neighbour Anthony Cross we replaced the battery via the chandlers at Whilton. The calorifier leak meant Steve had to bale out the "dry" bilge every day. Useful things towels as Ford Prefect pointed out to Arthur Dent in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
After replacing the battery on Wednesday morning and checking it was charging correctly we made it to one of our favourite moorings at Old Linslade that evening.
On Thursday we travelled south with NB Keeping Up With The Jones. We've recently enjoyed veiwing their web site. We stopped at Leighton Buzzard (Tesco) for supplies but they travelled on. At Grove lock we picked up with NB Tyro who used to moor at Fenny Stratford and had just begun their "continuous cruising". That evening we moored up at Marsworth and enjoyed good food at the White Lion. On the Friday we made our way down the arm to Aylesbury. Joined by two Wyvern Shipping hire boats en route. Both crews were from one family. We mooored up on near the Inland Revenue in Aylesbury and found the Jones boat also moored up.
Narrow locks on the Aylesbury Arm
On the return we followed the Wyvern pair for some time but they stopped for lunch and we didn't.
Reedy section of the Aylesbury Arm
Mooored up again at Marsworth on Sunday. Saw two steam traction engines outside the Red Lion.
Steam at the Red Lion, Marsworth
We were tempted to stay at the Red Lion (good real ale) but they were not doing evening meals so we walked up the main line to the the Grand Junction at Bulborne for a good Sunday roast. Very popular on a warm Easter Sunday evening. Spectacular transit of a hot air balloon.
Hot air balloon at Bulborne
On Monday 9th we travelled north in company with Still Tai who had also visited Aylesbury. Still Tai is a two year-old Lees 60ft sailaway that is still being fitted out by the owners. When they visited Aylesbury some of the family stayed in the Holiday Inn. They normally mooor at Leighton Buzzard not far from the Tesco store. The boat name means "STILL Thinking About It"! Glad I asked.
On Tuesday we moored up just outside Great Linford near to the lakes at Stantonbury. Took a walk down to the Great Ouse and the ruined church. Idyllic in the warm evening sun.
We got back to Yardley on Wednesday 11th after a leisurely journey back and lunch at Cosgrove. Patches was pleased to get home and investigate the garden. Now Steve will have to fix the calorifier!