Thursday, 26 June 2014

Where are all the boats?

We set out again from Circus Field, Aylesbury ten days ago and have travelled up the Grand Union as far as Weedon.  During that time we have negotiated 22 broad locks - 14 down and 8 up. We have managed to share about half of the downhill ones. and none of the uphill ones. Our overnight stops have been:
Marsworth Jct - several mooring spaces (unusual)
Globe Inn, Leighton Buzzard - never seen a space there before - we had a choice. (nice snacks but home-made cheese straws are not cheesy enough
Fenny Stratford - when we left all the visitor moorings were empty apart from a South African couple spending their 5th day on the 24hour mooring.
Wolverton - by the new flats - plenty of space
Stoke Bruerne - five locks up - only four boats
Blisworth - on our own again
Weedon - two of us overnight although more stopped for shopping or lunch.
It may not be very scientific or statistically accurate but our observations are that there are  fewer boats moving than two years ago and more boats for sale.  Visitor moorings are generally less occupied but away from civilisation there are groups of moored boats in locations we have never seen occupied before. Coupled with our experiences earlier this year in London and talking to other people it seems that there has been an increase in people living on boats as cheap housing rather than for the canal experience.

At Pitstone they, apparently, fit out the boat before making it water-tight.

At Stoke Bruerne our nearest neighbour was a Moorhen

Despite fewer boats around we have seen a few old friends:
Exe and Fulbourne were both moored near Grafton Regis
Marmite has moved to the other end of the Taverners' BC moorings
Alderbaron was way off its normal patch and we passed too early in the day to knock them up
Yorkshire Tyke  from Strawberry Island - last seen on L&L

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