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The Odyssey 2010: Day 20

Posted by indigodream on 8 June, 2010

Friday 4th June

Old Wolverton (Bridge 68) to Bridge 86 (Near Eaglestone)

Wolverton is looking so smart these days - it was still a bit run down when we first came through here a few years ago - the development on the left is almost finished - those warehouses were derelict.....

Well, it’s day 20 of the odyssey – in previous years we were only at day 1 on 4th June! I’ll say it again – fancy us being worried that we wouldn’t get to cruise enough on Indigo Dream 🙂

Our plan was to sneak away from our desks early, stock up at Tesco’s Wolverton (we have guests coming on board on Sunday), have an afternoon’s cruise, clean the boat, find a pub etc etc. But our already over-ambitious plans were totally scuppered by the M25 – what a nightmare – it would honestly have been faster by narrowboat! We got to the boat at 5.30pm, somewhat hot and weary.

We’ve had a bit of a drama this week. Richard hasn’t been able to find one of his key rings, we looked everywhere, but they weren’t at home, or in the car, or in his many pockets…….

Then this morning we had a phone call from Janet, the Mooring Officer – Richard’s keys had been found – in the boat door! Now, the boat was locked AND padlocked so it was secure, but nonetheless we did feel a bit daft! The keys had been spotted by one of our boating neighbours who’d taken them in. When he had to move on, he gave the keys to another of our neighbours who rang the moorings officer because he wasn’t sure when we’d be back. We’re very grateful – if we’d done the equivalent in the car it would be burned out in a ditch by now – boaters are the best 🙂

We recovered our keys from Brian of nb Swish – thank you so much for looking after them. We had a long chat with him, which was lovely, but dented our plans even more!

We’d planned to drive to Tesco as it would be easier to get shopping to the boat at the mooring rather than down the steps at Wolverton itself. But by this time I couldn’t be naffed!

Then Richard did possibly the most romantic thing he’s ever done in all the years I’ve known him – he offered to do the shopping while I cruised the boat down the canal. He would catch up with me later in a convenient spot – what a hero!

Milton Keynes......

I had a blissful cruise down the canal – you just can’t beat Milton Keynes – no really!  It was good to see a few boats moored in Wolverton near Bridge 71 – we’ve always wondered whether it would be safe there overnight. The moorings looked peaceful, the boats looked unmolested and the walls of the new developments haven’t been graffitied so it bodes well.

It was spring when we came up here a scant few weeks ago. But now the canalside is marked by the potent urgency of plants who know, without knowing, how brief  the summer might be. The towpaths were lined with an overwhelming abundance of life – “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower…..” as Dylan Thomas once wrote.

The plants are not the only ones who are aware of the summer’s brevity – the boaters were out in force – not moving but moored up for the evening. Most of the crews were either down the pub or sitting on deck enjoying a fine evening with a bottle of wine. At least three different boaters asked me “did you get your keys back ok?” – it was very kind of them to be concerned but made me feel even more of a idiot for leaving them in the door in the first place 🙂

It was as stunning evening – the heavy heat of day was replaced by a cooling breeze – just right for cruising. The willows have finished flowering and the down drifting gently in the air gave everything a dreamlike quality. The canal was softly white where the down had settled – I felt marvelous on the helm – steering Indigo Dream through the creamy water like some modern Cleopatra in her milky bath!

Note: Age does wither me and custom can definitely stale my infinite variety!

Richard caught up with me at Bridge 79 and we loaded the shopping on board. Unfortunately there wasn’t anywhere convenient for him to park the car here so he drove away and I cruised on.

We eventually moored up at our next rendezvous point near Bridge 86. We contemplated going a little further but it was dusk and we had a fine spot all to ourselves with a bit of parkland adjacent. It’s almost impossible NOT to moor next to parkland on this stretch!

A slow day ended well and we all fell into bed contented……

Photoblog:

Great artwork! This prompted me to sing the song as I cruised along - too many boats around for it to be at the top of my voice though!!

I liked the look of this house - it has enough canal frontage to moor TWO 60 footers!

But new houses are creeping over the green - not enough to encroach on the canal though...

nb Funion Bargee - I hope that the kids enjoy the boat....

48-hour visitor moorings available at Great Lindford - so tempting as the adjacent park is great.

Lee Valley hire boat - we weren't sure whether it was a boat out on hire or an old boat that someone's bought from the fleet.

Lionhearts Cruising Club - nice long mooring pontoons....

Lovely evening - those cruisers have found a good spot in the shade....

Willow down on the water - Cleopatra's bath!

6 Responses to “The Odyssey 2010: Day 20”

  1. s/v Eolian said

    You must have photoshopped the “Cleopatra’s Bath” pix – up close it looks almost like a Monet!

  2. indigodream said

    I don’t know how to use photoshop!!!!

    It was just a Monet sort of evening….

  3. Minnie said

    Beautiful, and all that lurxurious tranquility nicely evoked. It must be a huge relief to get away from London. Glad to hear about the keys: having been tracked down by civic-minded people recently so that they might return my stolen purse (complete with credit cards and coins), I have some idea of how that feels!

  4. indigodream said

    Interesting looking at the Cleopatra’s bath picture. The blog version has been quite heavily compressed and when compared to the original we have lost more of the detail and acquired more noise then I would normally want. Note to self: Less compression required, must go back to 71% rather than 78%. The grainy effect is actually noise as it was not very bright and the camera decided to set itself to 1000 ASA, odd as I am sure that I set it to max 400 ASA.

    Very often when we cruise evenings we do get some great light effects, the canal looks really good and the water is so still, well so still till we come by…

    Richard

  5. Phil T said

    You said you stayed the night near ‘Bridge 86’. Well I have to admit that looking at Google Earth that area would be my last choice with that housing estate on its west bank. Am I looking at the wrong place or am I paranoid?

    Phil

  6. indigodream said

    Hi Phil, nothing wrong with a bit of paranoia!

    We just double checked the bridge number and it was definitely 86. What can I say – it looked ok from the water and was ok on the night. Maybe if we’d googled it then we might have had second thoughts as well!

    It is surprisingly civilised around Milton Keynes – at one time we wouldn’t have moored by Bridge 71 but since the surrounding buldings have been gentrified we have noticed more boaters doing so…..

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