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The Chalk Lion

After a peaceful night on the visitor moorings at Cosgrove we got up and readied ourselves for another day cruising in the sunshine. As we untied and headed towards the village lock, a couple of other boats were starting their day but in the opposite direction. Once through the lock we chugged along, basking in the morning sunshine while passing parallel lines of moored boats on the way to the aqueduct over the river Ouse.

As on the previous day, we were on a very long pound and it was a long time before we met another boat on the move; then, like the proverbial buses, we encountered another four in quick succession. We paused momentarily at Pennyland on the outskirts of Milton Keynes to take a closer look at the houses which boast their own moorings and then it was on towards Fenny Stratford. We caught up with a fully crewed Wyvern hire boat at the entrance to the lock at Fenny Stratford and had a bit of banter with them as we shared a passage through. We stopped for lunch a little while later after passing another Wyvern boat who were having their own lunch. We teased them as we passed, asking if they had some pizza for us. When they passed us, the banter continued and they confessed that they had run out of alcohol.

Later, when we reached the three locks at Soulbury just by the Grand Union pub, we saw a boat waiting for us in the second lock. It soon became apparent that it was the alcohol free Wyvern boat. The mood of the day, indeed the whole weekend prevailed and we not only had a bit of a laugh and a joke with them, we provided the steerer with a cold can of lager and his wife with a glass of chilled wine.

We left them behind and then tramped on down through Leighton Buzzard, suddenly we were at Grove lock. Nothing dramatic about this lock except that it marked the limit of our ill fated cruise in 2009. We quickly worked our way up through and then on and through Church lock. We were back in the countryside again, heading towards the Chiltern hills where in the distance we could see a chalk lion carved into the hillside. Eventually we tied up just below Slapton lock, we made a half hearted attempt to walk to the village but gave up when the busy road didn’t seem to be leading us there.

So we’ve had another long and enjoyable day in the August sunshine and according to the forecast, the weather is set to continue like this for the rest of the week. We’re not pushing hard but cruising under blue skies is so addictive, at this rate we’ll be in London on Wednesday or Thursday.