Waking Up At Fenny. 13th June

Linford Wharf Winding Hole to Mill Lane Bridge 102

With temperatures set to soar over the next few days we wanted to seek out some shade to be able to sit the worst of the heat out. Living in a metal tube can be a touch uncomfortable in the heat. Our mooring at Linford was okay, but not perfect and we still wanted to make some progress today, so the alarm was set a touch earlier than of late and our first cuppas were consumed as we rolled back the covers to move.

We weren’t the only early birds!

Pushing off at 7am meant we came across a group of fishermen who’d decided to start early to avoid the boats, then we came along!

The sun was already out and warming up the morning although it was still goose bump chilly in the shade.

Second one of our trip

Milton Keynes is very green along the canal, how many poplar trees did they plant when the town was built. Mick wondered what the journey would have been like before the 1960’s development was started.

At the Lionhearts Cruising Club all was calm, no space for NB Tyseley today, but I’m sure some will be made in a couple of weeks as Mikron’s A Dog’s Tale is due to be performed there on the 26th June. A couple of years ago we managed to see one of their shows here, then we worked up the Marsworth Flight with them, but sadly this year we are about 10 days ahead of their boat tour. This years Tour Map

Slow and Fast

Up ahead a red balloon hung in the sky, another beautiful morning to be up there, as a jet left it’s vapour trail behind it. Slow and fast all in one frame.

Long long lines of moored boats kept our speed down, we’re sure there are more than last time, but that’s just what we said then too!

There is always something new to spot as you travel through MK. A repurposed shopping trolley made into a dragonfly. There are plenty of damselflies but we’ve not seen any dragonflies yet. A frog sat and watched the world go by from a bench.

These two boats had found a good spot, guaranteed shade for the day, compared to the visitor moorings at Campbell Park in full sun and almost empty.

Building work still fills the area around Campbell Park Marina, the buildings being higher than the norm around MK. Some new pontoons have been put in on the offside, they are chained off currently.

We passed a couple of Herons sitting high up in trees, the branches didn’t look strong enough to take their weight.

Mum and Dad were showing off their youngsters. It always feels a privilege to see the little ones hitching a ride on a back. Today two were riding high whilst a third was clinging on. Then one of them gloated at the others ‘I’m the king of the castle!’

Coming into Fenny Stratford we wondered if the old couple would wave from their house. Two years ago the garden didn’t look as immaculate and no wave came in our direction. Today the garden looked similar, but a window was open. We waved and a slightly younger looking lady sat in a chair by the window picked up a hanky and waved back. Maybe the house has new owners and she has taken on the responsibility to wave to every boat that comes past.

We considered stopping in shade here, but it wouldn’t last long. On to the lock.

About to start our ascent to the summit pound of the GU

We’d maybe only seen a couple of boats moving so far this morning, now all of a sudden everyone had woken up. Two boats headed down the lock, then it was our turn, no need to swing the bridge that normally sits over the lock.

Everyone’s woken up now

Behind we could see a Wyvern Hire boat arriving so we waited for them. In the meantime two boats had arrived at the services to fill and empty, very quickly followed by another two hire boats. The boat we shared the lock with were out for the weekend to surprise a friend on his birthday, now they were heading back to Leighton Buzzard.

Last week there had been a notice from C&RT regarding low levels either side of the Soulbury Three Locks as investigative works had necessitated the draining of the locks, then the back pump had failed. Mick had asked a question on a facebook group and reply had come from someone who volunteers at the locks, the pump was mended, levels still a bit low but no-one had had any problems with the bottom being too close to the top. Once we’d seen the amount of hire boats out and about we knew the problem wasn’t too bad.

Now time to try to find some shade. We pulled into a shady spot a touch before Mill End Bridge 98 at just gone 10:15, this would do for now.


Tilly got to explore whilst Mick checked the sausages had defrosted. It’s been a little while since we had a cooked breakfast, so today we made up for it, very nice it was too.

By the time we’d finished the sun was starting to heat up the cabin sides. Would there be somewhere further on more shady? We studied google satellite images and compared them to the moorings marked on Waterway Routes. But there was no knowing if the moorings would be free or not, after all we’d passed so many places overfilled with boats this morning.

A reckie was required so I walked up to bridge 102 to see what I could see. A group of boats had bunting on their roofs, what was this? The second one gave me more of a clue, NB Jubilee, it was a BCF gathering. It looked like everyone was down in the park so nobody by the boats to say hello to.

Oleanna catching up with me

Notes were taken of shade and trees on the offside which would come into play later in the day, then I rang Mick, he’d push off and come to find me. We pulled up on a slightly jaunty angle, but there was shade.

A while later the only other boat on the stretch pulled off so we decided to see if there was more depth where they’d been, the shade looked more dense too. Tilly back on board we pulled back and found the depth only marginally better.

Three outsides in one day!

Three outsides in one day! This third one looked a touch similar to the second one, but it was still good, lots of field friends to find.

During the afternoon I got on with costume sketches for #unit21. For the photo shoot in a few weeks we’ll only be needing so much of everyone’s costume, but I’d like to get the designs done. I pulled out Justsketchme again to help with poses and got everyone drawn up and ready to be coloured in. A good afternoons work

Ally and Pip sketched out


1 lock, 8.61 miles, 7am start, 3 hitching a ride, 2 trees under strain, 2 many boats all at once, 1.5 sausages each, 3 moorings, 3 outsides, 6 hours, 9 costumes, 1 test match lost.


4 thoughts on “Waking Up At Fenny. 13th June

  1. Karen

    Your breakfasts always look so delicious! Wondering if you make the hash browns or are they purchased like that? and how do you cook the eggs – they are always perfectly round!

    1. Pip Post author

      Hi Karen
      The hash browns are homemade, I’d been missing them and quite often bought ones have flour in them! Found a recipe for them, showed Mick, now they are a standard item on a breakfast plate. We even brought a small frying pan back from the house especially to cook them in, it was one of my Mum’s pans and is perfect for the job.
      Eggs, well we have poach pods, silicon bowls that you crack an egg into and then poach in a pan of water, round eggs every time.

      1. Karen

        Thanks for your quick reply Pip…perhaps one day you could share the recipe on your blog for the potatoes (although peeling and grating potatoes for breakfast sounds like a lot of work first thing in the morning!) I had tried the silicone pods awhile back – but the eggs stuck to them – perhaps I needed to butter them first, although that seems to defeat the purpose of the silicone. Anyway, seeing your breakfasts always makes me hungry!

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