It’s been another good days cruising for us and, although the canal is quite heavily locked along this stretch, the vast majority were in our favour which has made the job a lot easier.
After leaving our mooring we soon arrived at the three Soulbury locks with the Three Locks pub (surprising name!) positioned like a sitting duck next to the first pound where, if the middle lock is drained before the bottom lock, ……….
…….. there’s a good chance that it will get flooded – and that was almost the case this morning before we got there. The pub tables had definitely got their feet wet.
The canal squeezes between Leighton Buzzard and Linslade and then out the other side into the Bedfordshire / Buckinghamshire countryside. On this stretch of the canal in the “old” days there used to be a water shortage, so smaller single locks were built next the double ones to allow narrow craft to proceed using less water. The bridges next to some of the locks still show the two sizes of arch ……..
……… although there’s nothing left of the single locks alongside the double ones except the space which is now grassed over. This is Church Lock where once ………..
…….. there was the smallest chapel in Buckinghamshire – now extended and converted into a nice little des. res.
Approaching the three Seabrook locks we had two watchful Alpacas judging our lock operation and boat handling skills.
At Seabrook lock (no 35) there’s still one of the old engine houses, which were referred to by the boatmen as “Northern Engines”. They were used to return water back to the summit. By the way, we don’t normally leave lock gates open but these seemed particularly finely balanced.
At the penultimate lock for today we found some of natures’ bounty in the form of damsons (and loads of them!) While the lock was filling we picked enough for a very nice crumble, which we’ve had for dessert this evening moored just short of the junction with the Aylesbury Arm. Tomorrow we tackle the Marsworth Locks and onto the Tring Summit.