Marsworth & Bulborne

We left Linslade on Monday and stopped off at Tesco, Leighton Buzzard, for provisions. After taking on water we made our way to Grove Lock where we caught up with NB Pinmill who has just started mooring at Kingfisher Marina. Because another boat was waiting they went through the lock, and waited for us at Church Lock. From then on  we travelled southwards as a pair. We reckon that this is the first time we have travelled as a pair with a boat from our marina. The weather was bright and sunny and with two efficient crews we reached Marsworth late in the afternoon.

We spent a day away from the boat on Tuesday but in the evening we visited the Red Lion at Marsworth. This CAMRA pub does great real ale. I had a local brew from Tring and Maggie had some suitable cider. It was great to be in a good local with a warm fire and we enjoyed the freshly made food.

On Wednesday we started up the Marsworth flight in the morning and found that the other Lion in Marsworth - the White, was closed. We have eaten there on a few occasions.

Closed White Lion at Marsworth

We reached Marsworth Top Lock around midday. Our plan was to try going up the Wendover Arm to moor. We went up their in 2009 and enjoyed mooring overnight at the terminus. This time we thought it might be difficult and it was. NB Pinmill, who met at Marsworth Bottom Lock, and were on their way back to Kingfisher, had made it to the end, but they only draw 18" unlike our 30", and they said it was "touch and go". We only made it about 50 yards up the arm before we ran aground. With some difficulty we reversed back out of the arm, turned north, winded with even more difficulty, and then moored up just before the junction. A lot of tricky boating with so little progress.

Last picnic of the year (?) at Bulbourne

After a lunch, on the handily placed benches, and some frustrating maintenance on Albert (I lost a vital screw), we walked along the arm to the terminus.  A wide beam, but shallow draughted, boat was crawling back along the Wendover Arm after a trip to the end. They were making heavy weather of it with water levels so low on a stretch of water that is shallow at the best of times.

Wide beam crawling along the Wendover Arm

There were plenty of storm clouds around but luckily they didn't drop rain on us. They made a dramatic sight, particularly looking east.

Storm clouds over Heygates Mill, Wendover Arm

We also picked some sloes for out winter sloe gin. We have produced Aylesbury Arm Sloe Gin in the past. This batch will have to be named after the Wendover Arm.

Little Tring Bridge - restored by the Wendover Arm Trust

In the evening we visited the Grand Junction Arms at Bulbourne and had a great dinner. The food was delicious, very well presented, and the staff friendly. The last time visited the Grand Junction was about seven years ago with our friends the Kinnings. At that time the house speciality was curry, the decor shabby chic, and Timothy Spall was moored up outside and was enjoying meal. We related this to the landlord. He said that it would be great if Timothy dropped in again. Unfortunately we can't arrange this.