Going South

Departure Selfie

After several years of going north for our summer cruising, this year we are off south. We left Kingfisher Marina on Friday morning and headed through Milton Keynes. Our aim is to visit London and travel on the Lea and Stort Navigations. We planned a similar trip some years ago but got sidetracked into travelling up the Tideway - more exciting! As usual with our longer trips we intend to return home; this time to go to a local classic car event.

The first thing we noticed going through Milton Keynes was the large number of wide beam boats close to the city. With lots of good moorings and handy road connections (bridges) MK is popular for residential boaters. Between Cosgrove Lock and Stoke Hammond we passed 36 wide beam boats. At one time there would have been none. I remember when a few years ago the wide beam Moose Drool arrived at The Campbell Park residential moorings near MK city centre and being amazed by its size. Now there are similar boats all though the city.

The weather was warm and sunny and we made good progress. We got to Soulbury Locks around 6:00 pm and found the local IWA out in force having a fund raising event providing assistance up the flight. A number of Wyvern Shipping hire boats were coming down the flight on their first day out over the bank holiday weekend. Some clearly hadn't paid attention to their pre-cruise briefing with crew standing on the roof and also forgetting to drop top gate paddles. We moored up above the top lock and found a Wyvern boat across the cut. It appeared another Wyvern boat had gone past too quickly and pulled out its pins. We managed to find the crew of the boat across the cut in the pub.

We spent a lovely evening enjoying the sun and a meal at the Three Locks. We returned to Albert to find another pair of boats across the cut - again caused by a Wyvern boat going too fast (according to a witness). This time we pulled the boats on an reinstated the mooring  pins ourselves. You might think that was enough "excitment" but about 9:45 another Wyvern boat past in the dark with its tunnel light on! There was no mooring space left above the locks so I suppose they went down the flight in the dark!

IWA Display at Soulbury