Thursday, 28 October 2010

Wilstone Kingfisher
This post is for two ladies who do not know each other - Margot and Annie - who will appreciate it for different reasons.
At Leighton Buzzard (the home of The Borrowers) we met up with Xilion Rose and Hampshire Rose also on their way to Aylesbury for the winter. As Hampshire Rose was staying longer, we travelled down to Marsworth with Xilion Rose which made the broad locks more enjoyable.
Xilion Rose was built at Severn Valley about a year ofter Gecko but the original owners had to sell it a year or so later. We first met the new owners, Malcolm and Annie, at Dudley Tunnel in the summer when we were all on an IWA boat trip.
As we climbed up into the Chilterns we discovered that the original owners of Xilion Rose had been on the BCN Explorer Cruise last year(see blog entries for August 2009) with us - Elaine and Derek on their shorter boat, Misty. We spent the night at Marsworth Junction in order to descend the Aylesbury Arm as far as Wilstone in the morning.

Last time we came this way we had to wait at the first lock whilst BW fitted a new balance beam to the top gate.

This time we had to wait in the pound below lock 6 when we ran aground due to lack of water.

When we arrived at Wilstone we were greeted by a lovely new footbridge complete with bunting. We are quite accustomed to this kind of treatment but nevertheless it is always heartwarming to know that we are appreciated so much. I did wonder, however, if the money to build such a splendid footbridge so that villagers can walk their dogs on the other side of the canal might have been better used to ensure the canal water supply was adequate for the passage of boats.
On our way back to Gecko after picking some damsons she who must be obeyed spied a kingfisher alternately washing and fishing on the opposite bank. Ever the professional, I whipped out my pocket camera and snapped a few shots. As I find these such difficult birds to photograph I am treating you to several of today's crop.

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