Monday, 25 April 2011

Another big push towards home.

(posted by Alan)

So we were now committed to trying to get Cath into the best place to be at work tomorrow.

Lot Mead - First lock of the day.
The Hemel Hempstead area would do, but Berkham- sted would be better, but an awful lot of locks.  We had no idea if it would be as busy as yesterday, so agreed to just set off, and see how we did, just accepting what came.

The ever scenic Ironbridge lock near Watford.
In fact we saw almost nothing moving the way we were, but passed a lot of boats comiung the other way.  As by no means all the locks were in our favour, clearly other boats were travelling North, but for a long while we didn't see any, and worked through all the first locks alone.

Another day of brilliant sunshine - in fact the only rain we have seen in over 2 weeks out on this trip was a thunderstorm when we had already moored up at Tewddington on the Thames.

Home Park lock, near Kings Langley - Hemel in sight!
Also just a day of steady progress, and far less hanging about that yesterday, so we were ticking the locks off quite fast.

Apsley, (where Cath went shopping, and I filled the water tank), and then Boxmoor, both part of Hemel Hempstead were reached quicker than we could have hoped for, so we decided to head for our first choice of Berkhamsted.

The overspill from the Rising Sun pub - never seen it this busy!
Before we got there, we finally caught up another boat - an efficient single-hander, and worked with him, until he moored up for the night.  We stopped ourselves after just one more lock, having booked a table for a meal at a local Pizzeria.  Our son, Michael, who doesn't "do boating" came and joined us for the evening, and we had the rare pleasure of the whole family for a meal out.

Cath then left with Michael, with an agreement that David and I would carry on for a final day, and hopefully return Chalice to base, unusually with Cath not there.

The stats say a lot about this part of the journey up the GU, where there is on average less than half a mile between each lock, but where not many are conveniently enough together to work as a mini flight.  A suggestion that we should have gone a bit further to get the lock count into the thirties had fallen on deaf ears - I can't think why!

Lot Mead (Rickmansworth) to Berkhamsted
Miles: 13.5, Locks:29

Total Miles: 301.7, Total Locks: 177

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