Cosgrove to Soulbury

Sunday 26th  September 2010

Weather – Turned cold, breezy and drizzle later. Day 15. 

Quite a lot of coming and going of people today – PJ was going home, Jane was taking him as we all felt from now on we didn’t need the back up vehicle. Jen and Dave did

most of the narrowboat journey but then made their way back and Roy and his missus had gone last night as they had a family commitment today.

So fairly early start for the now three kayakers. Justin, Stephen and the intrepid Stevo set off from the very pretty Cosgrove on a day planned for the usual 12 miles but just two locks, the first of which they walked round as it was within 100 yards or so of where we moored.

An easy day for the Narrowboats too of course so we left a little later and Bob helmed Elysium while I had a chance to do a bit of housework on her. What with washing one side of her last night and a tidy up and vacuum today – Gail will be getting worried about me! It was really nice to sit up the front and enjoy the quite for a while – it really is almost silent cruising.

After a while I hopped off in a bridge hole and joined Eddie on Pisces following behind. He had offered me the chance to take the tiller on her and experience this 75 year old vessel and her nuances. Best way of describing it to a non boater is that is the same as driving a car without power steering, with her deeper draft and longer length (71ft 6”) you definitely use more energy. Once used to her it was a real pleasure and Eddie and I chatted about each others careers and stuff quite happily! Doing the canal thing through Milton Keynes, you would hardly know was there as the developers created lots of space and parks canal-side.

Upset a few fishing competitions on the way – still one of the funniest things on the canal at the weekends is turning a corner and seeing stretched before you rows of long, canal width, fishing poles rising as a boat passes them like a guard of honour at a wedding! Fishermen in general are also a miserable bunch – I always make a point of thanking them for lifting their rods for me to pass – some are ok but at best I get a grunt or more often they find something to fiddle with so that they don’t make eye contact! Its as if boats should not be there in their eyes – sorry guys the canal was built for boats to move around and we boaters pay heavily to use it! Of course some Fishing Clubs pay for exclusivity on certain stretches but cheer up fellas? Its like people complaining about the noise from their local pub which has been there for hundreds of years whilst they have just moved in – don’t buy a house by a pub if you don’t like it.

Up near my own moorings on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal we have a woman that complains to BW all the time about boats mooring on a genuine mooring opposite her house which is probably no more than 20 years old. Get a life honey – the canals been there for more than 200!

Dave had arranged to leave his car at the Red Lion at Fenny Compton and so that was where we had tentatively decided to do our overnight, but Eddie had suggested that if the guys could do another three miles the stop would be nicer and we would be set up for a lesser challenging day on Monday that what might have been.

In the end that’s what we did hence our location outside the very nice Grand Union Pub at the 3 Rise Locks at Soulbury. Debrief done and as we are down to only four of us (Justin doesn’t count when planning nosh!) the plan was to have proper Sunder Roast dinner in the Grand Union followed by an early night! 

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