Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Final day (minus Cath)

(posted by Alan)

I don't know why, but didn't sleep well, and ended up sitting in bed quite early, browsing stuff on my laptop.

We had arranged with Cath that she would come and have breakfast with us, before she headed into work.  She perhaps was not to know that Charlie had not yet had his early morning walk, so that quickly became her first task.

Soon after Cath has said her farewells David and I set off - a good move, as 4 small boats locking through together did so immediately behind us.

David generally doesn't do a lot of the locking, but when he does, you know you are on a whirlwind tour, where things tend to get done faster than you are used to!  Today was no different, and I can only marvel at his youthful energy, and imaginative use of bike.  We found it no problem to pull a paddle at each lock as we left it, to prepare it for the boats following.

Some of the water levels were seriously low, and I could not get the boat in against the bank below certain locks.  David easily leaps the gaps, so no problem there, but emptying a lock in a shallow pound with the boat close to the gates, (and it was also a windy day!), can be quite a challenge, as the boat can get suddenly drawn forward.

At a couple of the worst cases we took the unusual step of bringing the boat right into the "vee" of the gates, and running it quite fast in ahead gear to ensure it stayed put as the full lock was drawn off.

The main distinguishing feature of the day, other than how fast David works, was just how "bloomin" cold it was, and whereas other days I had been peeling layers of clothes off, today I just kept adding more.

Tring summit was reached in record time, I think, but I got very cold on the back steering over it, until the downhill locks commenced.

We then got a steady run of boats coming up the locks of the main Marsworth flight, sometimes causing us to pause for breath, (well me, at least!), although nobody else seemed to be going down.

Above final two locks, yet again waiting for boats coming the other way.
We were finally joined by another boat for the last two locks, also called "Mars- worth" but some distance on from the main flight, as it pulled off a water point after we passed.

Charlie is generally very patient as we work through locks!
So, another trip drew to a close.  Not a bad one, given that on only day two we had thought we might have show-stopper engine problems.  Not a bit of it, and more than 300 miles of boating, and not far off another 200 locks added to the "log".

Berkhamsted to Cook's Wharf
Miles: 7.9, Locks: 16

Total Miles: 309.6, Total Locks: 193

No comments: