After a couple of months at Cow Roast, (thanks to Mike for a loaned mooring, for much of that time!), it was time to shift Sickle further North.
The plan was to drive to Cow Roast, but to take bikes, so we could go back there afterwards, and collect a car.
The move we wanted to do was more than a day, without going mad, but looked easily done in well under two. Leighton Buzzard was an obvious overnight stopping point, to allow us a choice of places to go and eat, so we didn't need to worry about cooking. The weather forecast didn't look too bad for the Saturday - just maybe a bit of light shower.
I rather enjoyed Tring summit, feeling I am starting to get more of an idea where the best channel is, and choosing engine speeds that mean we make good progress, but don't wrestle needlessly with the boat.
|Approaching the middle lock at themain Marsworth flight.|
|The sunshine gives no hint of weather to come.|
However our partnership was quickly ended by a "systems failure" on Sickle. The "speed wheel", (basically a brass wheel, which is the engine speed control), had become stiffer and stiffer, and I was having trouble winding it away from "minimum". Suddenly I was holding most of it loose in my hand, leaving a stump that I couldn't turn at all!
The brazing between the two brass parts had failed, and at first I had little hope of effecting a fix. But when I realised we had an electric drill on board, I tried to drill through the two parts and bolt them together, (not elegant, but needs must!). It took several hours to solve, as the battery powered drill went flat, and the only available drill bits quickly blunted or broke. A second stroke of luck was a small and never used inverter on board, which allowed me to produce enough 240 volts from the boats 12 volt battery to recharge the drill just enough to complete the bodged repair.
|The threatening clouds start to hang low.|
|By now we had been watching a rainbow at least 15 minutes.|
|At Grove in failing light.|
I decided not to put on the tunnel light, and to try and let my eyes adjust to the failing light, but long before arriving at the town centre moorings, had to call Cath out on to the front deck to help me spot what was what. I do like boating after dark sometimes, but after a longer and more tiring day than planned, by the time we moored up I was bushed.
We went to the same restaurant as we had done when we visited the Linslade Canal Festival, and once again enjoyed an excellent meal.
We decided not to hurry off the next day, but instead to wait and get a few things at the canalside Supermarket. With only a further 5 locks up to our destination, Sunday was an easier day than Saturday had been.
|Destination Fenny Stratford.|
Cow Roast to Fenny Stratford
Miles: 20.3, Locks:24