Sunday, July 08, 2012

… and back again.

Lot Mead lock Survey complete, Parglena needs to be moved back to Bourne End again – Oh dear! another early morning start for Brenda. We arrived at the meeting place, Ricky Tescos,  at about 8:15 for an 8:30 start. Brenda hit the store to fetch some things we’d run out of at home and J&C were already there re-provisioning. Heron I off loaded our stuff onto Parglena and then went and abandoned the car on a side street. We set off North with very little Southbound traffic to worry about and made good way with everything set in our favour  until we reached Cassio Bridge lock. At North Grove lock a heron was sitting patiently on the lockside watching the water in the empty lock below. He wasn’t upset by my arrival there and allowed me to open the lower gates and then take a couple of photos before deciding to make a move when I tried to get a better photograph.  When we were leaving Iron Bridge lock in Cassiobury park, a dog walker informed me that there was a southbound boats coming down Cassiobury park locks. When I got there both locks were in our favour but no sign of a moving boat, they must have rapidly moored up in the park as I didn’t spot them. As we approached the M25 bridge, after leaving North Grove lock, there was a circus in the field adjacent to the canal which had tigers and camels patiently awaiting the next performance. Once under the M25, the CagedTigers heavens opened and I got a right soaking whilst lock-wheeling ahead of the boat, the rest of the crew were safely tucked inside and Julian had a large umbrella to hide under, but I didn’t even have a waterproof with me. Never mind, I only had shorts and a shirt on anyway and I did have the forethought to bring a spare set of clothes with me for when the trip had finished. As we ascended Kings Langley lock a widebeam narrowboat thingy was winding about bridge 157 and so I wasn’t sure who’d arrive first at Red Lion lock after I had set it. After a while Parglena hove into view having passed the other craft when it went aground whilst travelling too close to the towpath on the inside of a bend. By now I was steaming gently as the sun and warm air evaporated all of the wet-stuff from my meagre clothing. I must have left a steam trail behind me, like an old railway engine, when I was cycling between locks. We passed through Apsley with no issues but there was a boat tied up in Boxmoor lock when I arrived there on the bike. Both top paddles were up and a windlass was still fitted to the towpath side one but no sign of the owner. I opened one topgate, removed the windlass and then went an knocked on the cabin side. Out popped a young man, book and sandwich in hand who was surprised when I handed him his windlass and then untied his boat sending him on his way so that I could turn the lock for Parglena. He set off wearing just a cardigan just as the heavens opened once more. Up through Fishery, Boxmoor and Winkwell found us back at Bourne End and the end of another 12 mile cycle ride for me. Why do they call this boating?


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