Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Rushing south on the Grand Union

Various locks are being worked on and will be closed so we are trying to get through before they shut. Doing between 3 and 15 lock miles every day for 7 days to get from Aylesbury to Hemel Hempstead. One or two days were bitterly cold so we did not get far. Other days were bright n shiny so were able to make up distance lost. Last Sunday was one of those bright clear days as we made our way up the Marsworth flight of 7 locks. Lots of people out enjoying the sun and seeing our boats through the locks. The canal is deep and clear up on the summit pound going past the old Bulbourne Workshops where BW used to make lock gates.

Many summit pounds have tunnels to go through but this one has a deep cutting. Tree lined and sheltered from the wind. 3 ½ miles to the next lock at Cowroast. Or Cow Rest. Where cattle pens were provided for drovers resting their herds between the Midlands and London, long before the canal was built.


Next day headed down 7 locks into Berkhamsted where we stopped for lunch by the park. Another 10 locks in two days got us to Chaulden on the outskirts of Hemel Hempstead. Progress slowed waiting for ice to clear.

Boat Show

Apologies to our readers for not 'Blogging' till now.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge as they say since we left the boat before Christmas.  Here is an account of one thing we did once back on the cut.

We got past Ivinghoe and stopped near the bridge. A taxi was called to take us to Cheddington Station. The train took us to Euston where we went underground to Islington. Then another train to Excel, the new exhibition hall.. Took just 2 hours to get there. Sue had the route worked out using ‘Qjump’ on the Internet. Got there at 11 and stayed till 5. Saw Chris on the ‘Moody’ boat display. The Inland Waterway display was popular because a canal side pub had been built there.

Fox Inn, Inland Waterways

Waterside Pub at London Boat Show

By all means go to see boat in a ‘clinical’ situation, all bright & cheerful but not moving. While admiring the fit out think of the real environment you will be in. That big boat will be going up and down on the waves and leaning over in the wind. Most canal boats seem to stay in expensive marinas for 6 months. When out and about you learn to respect the old canal system. You may have to share moorings with less than smart boats. Think about jumping back on with muddy boots. You may even fall in the canal a few times! My advice to anyone looking to buy a boat is to hire one first to get a feel for boating in the real world.

Moody 56

The canal is not deep enough for this !