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Oops, We seem to have gone aground!

On a yacht going aground is rather a big deal, especially if you go aground on a beach or rocks, however on a yacht it’s easily avoided with the right navigation. On a yacht you have charts indicating depth and position of rocks and other dangers. You also have plenty of instrumentation such as GPS and chartplotters to tell you where you are in relation to those dangers. On a Narrowboat none of the above applies.


Since my last blog we’ve travelled south from Simpson out of Milton Keynes to just north of Linslade (Leighton Buzzard). We’re literally only 1 ½ miles from our next objective – Tesco’s and a pump out (of the poo tank). We stopped before we reached the town, still in the countryside. Here’s the canal view where we are, just a few minutes ago in the early morning mist.




Parking up yesterday we picked our spot, partly because we saw the metal rails on the edge of the canal that allow us to use these beauties, piling hooks, much easier than hammering stakes in the ground.









Here's the piling hook deployed.

However, before we got to this point, as soon as Ellison had got off, I realized by the lack of the motion of the boat we were aground. Unlike being on a yacht we had no way of knowing this would be shallow, other than the side of the canal is generally shallower. It was actually no biggie to get off just some judicial steering and loads of beans in reverse. A couple of minutes and we were off. Unlike going aground in a yacht, which usually mean a diver to inspect the keel, a narrowboat is rough enough and tough enough that it’s nothing to worry about. However, in extracting ourselves I did hear something hit the propellor. All seemed to be well but I thought I’d best check via the, yes you’ve guessed it, the weed hatch!

Getting here from Milton Keynes involved no drama, those who have read previous yachting blogs will know this is often not the case sailing. However getting here did involve lots of leisurely motoring through lovely countryside. We also had 5 locks. Fenny Stratford lock only has a 1 foot drop and you think to yourself, why bother? Good thought, the lock was originally only temporary to allow for continually leaking banks, downstream, to be repaired. It is a pretty spot though.


Onwards south you come to Stoke Hammond lock. We waited here for another boat going south as it’s good practice to pair up to save water. After a while we went through anyway, here’s piccies of Ellison opening the lock gate, I particularly like the sequence of facial expressions.

Of course as soon as we were in the lock and Ellison had started to fill it another boat appeared. Too late to pair up for Stoke Hamond but we agreed to go up Three Locks (Soulbury) together. When we arrived at Three Locks, to our delight, it was manned by 3 Canal & River Trust Volunteer Lock Keepers. It was really useful for Ellison and I to have a chat with them for reasons that I’ll tell you about in a later blog. Three Locks is another really beautiful spot, here’s a couple of piccies as we went through.

I'll leave you with 2 piccies, no story, I just liked them, Stoke Hamond lock and dappled light on the side of Hawkweed.

More soon.


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