Sunday, 8 August 2010

Made it to Watford

Monday 2nd August to Sunday 8th August

This week - 27 Miles, 57 Locks, and 2 swing bridges

Totals: 78 Miles 83 Locks, 2 Tunnels, 3 Swing Bridges

Anyone planning on going through the Soulbury Three Locks (locks 24-26) should do so before finishing cruising for the day as apparently these are notorious for leaking overnight as I found first thing on Monday – the pound above Lock 24 was virtually dry – an hour later I was through thanks to the lockie who arrived just after I had opened the two locks above to let water down.
After stopping at Leighton Buzzard on the 2 hr moorings alongside Tesco I was then to find mooring up difficult as the pounds from lock 29 through to Lock 22 were all low and the water depth was extremely low, but thanks to a crew from a day boat I managed to get through to moor above Bridge 123

a view from the mooring point above Bridge 123

Gee, I really enjoyed the Marsworth Locks – even though they were all done solo no help at all – got into a quick and steady rhythm and through them in next to no time – well less than 2 hours and then moored in a lovely cutting just down from Tring station – no train noises for me

I was quite impressed with Berkhamstead - moored by the park and near the Waitrose store – not much else that I saw really.

Berkhamstead - the park is on the left and Waitrose on the right

Why is it that there are idiots out there that are allowed to get anywhere near a boat – on two occasions I had boats moored on the bollards set aside for the locks, so it was impossible to get close to the locks – 1 of them I missed, but the second got a right royal earful of what I thought about him (no four letter words at all) – he left skulking – it was bad enough going through these locks without help but to have people moor up and leave no room at all – there that’s my whinge done.

Almost forgot – I was impressed with the ease of the Winkwell swing bridge – easy to operate and clear instructions – I found no problems with the way it was managed by a lady from a boat coming the other way.

Mother and baby - dad wasn't far away

A very timely reminder about the problems with older boaters, when I moored up at Abbots Langley – a boater was trying to moor up behind me, but the boat was getting away from him in the slight wind – trouble was his arthritis prevented him from gripping the centre line as well as he wanted – together and with help from his friend on the boat in front, we managed to position the boat next to the towpath and he moored up for lunch – when I looked later they were gone – not a question of age, but the greater likelihood of conditions such as this and the problems facing us all in time.

Relaxed final part of the trip to Watford – took on water and then moored up opposite Cassiobury Park. An unremarkable trip but very very pleasant . Weather has been overscast and raining and to top it off sunny as well.
Off to the hardware shop for some bit and pieces I will need for the bed conversion and also to Harlequin for other things including a phone top-up.
Phil and Wendy along with Megan, Georgina and Jessica visited this afternoon to have a look over the boat; so we moved about 300 metres to where the phone reception was infinitely better.
The undoubted highlight of the afternoon occurred after they had left – that’s right ManU beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Community Shield – so had to email Phil (a Chelsea supporter) about it – strange that I haven’t had a reply yet.

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