Just Stretching My Legs. 20th June

Leighton Buzzard to Seabrook Lock 35

Whilst Mick had been faffing with his new coat, Tilly managed to take advantage of a door left ajar by me and headed for some unscheduled shore leave. I witnessed the event, but with hands full, it starting to rain and a distinct urge to avoid doing a rugby tackle head first into a large pile of dog pooh by the boat she managed to head off down the towpath! I followed not too hot on her heels but close enough to hopefully be able to lung for a grab. This however just means that she carries on down the towpath away from the boat!

A none too shy heron just behind our boat

A runner and cyclist helped in stopping her in her tracks, the need for safety back at the boat became more important until she met a woofer. She then took a detour into Jewsons to sit in a Buddleia bush. I tried being the most interesting mad cat woman to no avail. So I just gave up! Walked back to Oleanna only to be followed by our four legged friend, who insisted on getting back on board unaided. I’d just wanted to stretch my legs, that’s all! Don’t know what all the fuss was about.

Graffitti

With vouchers for £4 off a £20 shop at Waitrose we headed into town to see if we could spend £20 on things we needed before leaving Leighton Buzzard. At first it was hard but then we spotted a few bargains, like dishwasher tablets at almost half price and these ramped up our total. We not only had enough for a free newspaper, but also for the £4 discount. A bargain shop.

One of the best boat names we’ve seen in a long time

With everything stowed we pushed off and made our way towards Grove Lock. Here a group of chaps opened up the bottom gates for us so that we could join NB Yarak to go up (we’ve been playing leapfrog with them for a few days).

The Grove, on the border to The South

The Grove looked as inviting as ever, but we managed to resist the lure of a pint of Fullers early afternoon. We pulled over to empty the yellow water, had some lunch then tried to push off. In our experience it’s usually quite windy here. NB Yarak had filled with diesel across the way and was now wanting a mooring. One second of looking elsewhere and the wind caught their bow just as Mick was trying to do a reverse Andy to get the bow out against the wind. Yaraks button just gently swept our cabin side, removing some of the dust we’d proudly been collecting.

Shame the no fishing sign is on the other side of the post

Our next obstacle was a fisherman on the lock landing at Church Lock. We were pulling in to drop me off, he clocked us, but did nothing about his rod that was in the cut. We then got blamed for not giving him the heads up that we’d be coming in. I left Mick to explain about Lock Landings and walked up to the lock. This was very full and a boat was just pulling up above, so I helped him down before we made our way up.

Church Lock

The lock cottages along this stretch are all individual, some face away from the canal, some to it and some look down the length. Each boasts when it was built. The one at Slapton Lock is for sale at the moment, no wonder the grass is looking very neat at the lock! Details here.

Moody skies

We’d been aiming to moor near Pitstone Lock for the day, but decided on a mooring below Seabrook Lock instead, just that bit further away from the railway. This of course confused a single hander who’d just arrived at the lock which was just about in our favour as we reversed away from it.

Pretty sky

Tilly was now allowed out to explore for the evening.

Caution Trip Hazard

7 locks, 1 shared, 5.67 miles, £4 off, 1 rod, 1 moody but sunny day, 1 escapee, 1 moody cat, £650,000, 1 slightly quieter mooring, 3 bricks, 2 pockets.

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