In dock – at Milton Keynes

Monday July 4th: Stoke Hammond – Milton Keynes Marina,  5 miles, 1 lock (See final journey stats below)

            There was a skype session last night with the Californian Clan, they just back from a Florida vacation. There was Cal Son, Cal Toddler bouncing on his knee, Cal Guy peeping from behind.

            “Where are you, Grampy?” (the last word sounding as “Graamp-ee” to the British ear.)
            “On my boat,” replied Grampy / the Captain.
            “Are you in dock?” enquired Cal Guy.
            “No, tied up on the towpath.”
            “So do you mean you’re in dock…?”

The canal and its towpath concept was hard to visualise so the Captain, using techno super-skill and super-length extension cable on the detachable video camera clambered out through the front doors, off the front deck and pointed the camera at the mooring rope, chain and towpath.

            “So you’re floating?” came the next incredulous question. Yes, and that was the last night of “floating” after 38 days. Cal Guy was full of his vacation, especially seeing the last ever space shuttle on its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. He had visited a place famous in the history of space travel, seen a moon lander and touched moon rock. As Boatwif this morning prepared Fenny Lock for Cleddau to pass through a date was spotted: 1802. Transport history from a very different era!

            It took just under two hours to reach Milton Keynes Marina. The Sunday boat rush was totally absent, the only signs of life a heron gazing at the water, a tern (?) diving, catching a fish and feeding on the wing, a canoeist and the bulky hotel broad beam boat pushing through a bridge hole. Before midday Cleddau was manoeuvred into her temporary mooring – and in rising temperatures the sorting out and unloading began. New boat neighbours seem very friendly, and one, (wait for it Pembrokeshire readers, it’s a ‘Monkton Moment’) admitted to having run The Jolly Sailor at Burton in her past…!

            So, with Cleddau “in dock”, the crew firmly ashore, Boatwif will be suspending both her tiller and her keyboard action for a while – until, of course, there is another boating adventure…

Cruise Statistics
Miles from Poynton to Milton Keynes:            311

Number of locks:                                         234
Number of tunnels:                                          6                 
Number of canals (in part or total):                   6
Number of rivers:                                            2
Breakdowns:                                                  1
Theatre productions:                                       3
Cathedrals visited:                                          2
Stately homes:                                               1
Churches and museums:                           unrecorded

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