Saturday 21st May.
I finally let go at 10.30 with another eight locks left to do. I met very few other boats coming the other way, but did hear that there were loads of mooring spaces in Aylesbury Basin. Most of the single locks were in my favour, although a few had to be left empty to avoid flooding nearby properties through the lock walls. Of all 16 locks, only two had the balance beam on the towpath side – I bet this cut was popular with the old single handed working boaters. There was a considerable amount of water flowing over the tops of all the gates and some top gates were reluctant to open.
I stopped below Puttenham Bottom Lock to make some coffee and let another boat pass, as they were working faster with a crew of three. It was also a chance for a good look at Jem Bates' Boatyard, where he restores old wooden boats; obviously at great expense. I say that because I read an account of the restoration of nb Roger, moored at Ricky and the amount of money required to restore her was quite phenomenal. This was where the hull of nb Dover was restored for the TV series a few years back.
The water was free of any debris and no graffiti was visible until I got to Broughton on the outskirts of the town, but I picked up a blade full after the last lock.
The main moorings on finger jetties were not visible as I approached cut end, because the waterway turns a right angle, but indeed there they were in all their pristine newness, which is good to see that the town is encouraging boaters to come and enjoy it and spend some money.
There are moorings on the jetties for nine boats in all, with two taps and two electric hook up points, which have meters and keypads, but no instructions on how to use them. Neither are there any notices limiting duration of time allowed to stay, which is strange. Maybe it is so new that no one has got around to it yet. There are other on line moorings on the way in, but delineated as Service Moorings, but as there are no services, that’s another enigma.
Finger Moorings with Alesbury Waterside Theatre in the background.
Mooring spaces along the main line.
I disovered strong free Wi-fi in the form of O2, which I discovered later was sponsored by the nearby Waitrose, which I will visit tomorrow just to show my appreciation of their generosity.