First cruise of 2022

We woke up on the Thursday morning and decided to go. We had another two weeks of mooring paid for but knew we just didn’t want to be there anymore. So we disposed of our rubbish and other necessary preparations and set out.

Backing out of our slip was a challenge that require hand signals and yelling things like “you’re clear of Moose Drool”. Headed under the little bridge at the marina entrance and were off and running or floating. South on the Grand Union Canal.

Alan tends to helm the boat most of the time but my job is to take over that task at locks as I manoeuvre her well but don’t have the strength for moving lock gates. Our first lock of the year was at Fenny Stratford where you are only rising a few inches. It is a great starter lock. We used to live in the area so knew it well. Shortly after the lock we moored up for lunch behind our old house. That was weird and fun all at once.

After lunch we headed out again with the goal of getting just about up to Three Locks in Soulbury. We knew the lock flight was closed until the next day but as long as we managed to get between the lock at Stoke Hammond and the Three Locks flight we were happy. Mid-afternoon we happily made it through the Stoke Hammond lock and found a nice quiet mooring in the middle of nowhere. We were about a 1/2 mile from Stoke Hammond and a mile from the Three Locks pub.

Look down the Grand Union Canal at Stoke Hammond

The plan was to hang out there until Saturday morning and it was so nice. The weather couldn’t have been better with a high of 15C (59F) and minimal wind. The sun was out and I felt like I was solar charging. We sat outside a while with a cup of tea just feeling the stress drain out of us.

Friday we spent doing laundry, going to the store, and generally getting in LOTS of steps. We were able to hang the clothing out for most of the day to dry which leaves them a whole lot fresher than when they dry by the fire. After dinner we went for another walk and had a drink at the pub. Not something we have done often over the years so it was a nice treat.

Saturday morning and we were headed out to Parkrun. It was my 95th parkrun and I am aiming at getting to my 100 milestone asap so wasn’t going to miss it even though it meant setting out after 10 am. We visited the Leighton Buzzard Parkrun for a challenging trail run around Rushmere Park. Once we were finished with that we parked up the car and walk/ran another mile back to the boat to start our day.

I started off as we were headed to get water at the bottom of the lock flight before heading up through the locks. All went rather smoothly for us though it is worth noting that the top and bottom locks each have one non-opening gate at the moment so a bit of back and forth. After the last of those locks I handed off to Alan to helm while I did chores inside.

Parkrun did wear me out and my bad shoulder isn’t liking the helming at all so ibuprofen and a drink was the start of my “rest” which mostly was folding laundry and getting lunch started. We went on for about another hour until just south of The Globe Inn and stopped for lunch. This gave us both about a half hour to just rest.

Heading south through Leighton Buzzard and will see about mooring up somewhere on the south side of Grove Lock if at all possible. Will probably stay down around that area for a couple of weeks before turning around and heading up toward Braunston. It has been a lovely few days and very much needed after our first winter on the boat.

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