Sunday 8th August: Bedford Priory Marina to Great Barford, 6 miles, 3 locks
So on a sunny afternoon we set out, embarking on the 300 plus mile trip back to the Macclesfield Canal. The boat is laden with clothes for all seasons (well, September can be nippy once north of the Midlands!) and with substantial food supplies: indeed I keep coming across more boxes and packets of breakfast cereal. Is there a shortage "up north" that I have not been aware of?!
A phone call on Saturday: " Sue, I'd really like to do some floating - and boating too if that's possible." And so it came to pass that we were escorted from the marina to Castle Mills Lock by number 1 Godmanchester friend, and at precisely our moment of need (those huge heavy gates) number 2 Godmanchester friend arrived on the scene, having parked his car at Great Barford and walked west alongside the river towards us. He is a lover of maps and unknown territories, but thankfully he found us.
Some readers might recall this same watery route travelled only last Saturday: for you I feel it necessary to report that the sheep are still noisily apparent in the field just after the bypass, and yet again one was in the water... At Great Barford the inquisitive white duck has survived the week, continued to evade the angry swan's temper - and has reverted to gazing forlornly through boat windows!
A pleasant end to the afternoon: some furniture shifting to provide seats and a table for the crew, some fruit-chopping and mint-picking to provide Pimms for the thirst; an evening meal at the Anchor (and at last past bad memories of previous boating exploits here are beginning to fade - the boat hatch that temporarily concussed the daughter, the pub that was closed to all customers, the dog that jumped ship and nearly strangled itself on its long lead, the ferocious winds of three weeks ago before the River Festival). Now darkness has fallen, time perhaps to retire to bed.