Monday, 6 May 2013

And Back to "Cooks"Again!

(Boat Sickle - Sunday 6th May 2013 - posted by Alan)

 Stoke Hammond "Three Locks" with hire boat.
Well, had we thought things through, and made a few enquiries, we might have avoided last week's return of "Sickle" to her home moorings, and therefore the trip we were doing today to get her back where she had last been only just over a week ago!

Grove Lock
In fact I had failed to spot that another of our friends was off boating with her boat, normally also kept at the same place as "Chalice".  As she wsa going to the London Cavalcade it would not be back for a while, and, having checked, "Sickle" could be berthed on her mooring at "Cooks" for a week.  Still, whilst there is that old phrase "Is your jouney really necessary?", at least we were actually getting to go boating, after a very slow start to 2013.

Between Grove and Grove Church Locks
Because it was a Sunday, no trains run to "Sickle's" usual mooring, so once again Cath and I were into the "two car shuffle", which starts by taking two cars to where you plan to end up, then going on in just one to where you want to start.  Not to bad at the start of a day, but it gets to be a pain retrieving the other car at the end of a day!

Grove Church, (sometimes just "Church"), Lock
It is currently very quiet on this part of the Grand Union - unusually so, and it seems very few boats are moving.  Although we did share a few locks with a boat from the local hire fleet, when we passed their Leighton Buzzard base, it was obvious that nearly all of their boats were still there, and the number actually hired out was very small.  We made our usual shopping stop at Leighton Buzzard.  With "Sickle" that lacks the luxury of a cool box, let alone a fridge, it is easier if time permits to pick provisions up in small quantities, so you are eating them fresh.

Swing Bridge near Cheddington (again!)
We didn't hang on to our hire boat for long and, from memory, I on't think we saw much other boat traffic at all after that point, let alone actually get as far as sharing any locks.  A pleasant but highly uneventful day!

Fenny Stratford to Cooks Wharf (Grand Union)
Miles: 15.0, Locks: 15

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