I know it’s been a while, but I was a bit short on my data allowance, and, apart from helping Sue and Vic move into their new boat, we’ve not been up to much until today.
No Problem XL (Tubby) was launched OK on Thursday, a much anticipated event that wasn’t as dramatic as expected. Then No Problem (skinny) was hauled out of the water on Friday for a survey, which revealed absolutely nothing wrong with this well cared-for boat. I won’t rattle on about either event, pop along to Sue’s blog and follow the appropriate links.
Just one thing that Sue didn’t mention, they’d had a stow-away for who knows how long!
Colin the crayfish abandons ship!
He’d been living in the external cooling grid for the engine. Lovely and warm there… He was returned to the dock, where he probably lurked, waiting for his home to be returned to it’s natural environment.
OK, on to today. With our locking partners of the last few weeks now having a considerably increased waistline, sharing the rest of the locks down to the Thames with them is no longer possible. So we said our goodbyes and set off down towards Common Moor Lock.
Sue and Vic, on No Problem XL. All being well we’ll see them again on the Thames.
Anne, from Moore to Life but staying with Sue and Vic for a few days, joined us to help with the lock, and so did the two dogs Meg and Penny. They trotted down the towpath, glancing back to see if NP was following and looking a little puzzled when it didn’t.
We were lucky, just as we left a Wyvern hire boat appeared behind us, so we had a partner after all.
Common Moor Lock
Just under a mile saw us drop down Lot Mead Lock, then there was a long line of permanent moorings on the offside.
Our first batch of houseboats. We’ll see a lot more as we head further south.
A lot of the boats we’ve seen recently are in sore need of a bit of TLC, but today we passed two beautiful kept Dutch tjalks.
Look at that scrollwork!
We were maybe a couple of hundred yards above Batchworth Lock when we came upon a wide-beam reversing ahead of us.
Unfortunately he was going down the lock for water, just as we wanted to. So it took a little time to send him down, bring another “narrer” up and descend ourselves. The WB was still filling (it might take some time, he said…) so we slotted in below Chess Lock, the one that connects the River Chess to the canal.
The River Chess was made navigable for a few hundred yards upstream presumably to service one of the several paper mills that used the river.
Chess Lock, the river itself joins the canal a couple of miles further south, after flowing over the weir to the right and joining the Colne.
Batchworth Canal Centre, with Batchworth Lock not quite visible to the left, Chess Lock also out of shot to the right, and the wide-beam on the water point to the left.
We’re tucked in below the footbridge, behind the blue boat belonging to the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust.
We gave it half an hour, then I strolled through the road bridge to have a look at moorings. There was a slot just on this end of the visitor moorings so we decided to pull in there and reverse back for water when fatty left. Meanwhile I could take one of our old captain’s chairs to the recycling centre just nearby, and also get some shopping from Tescos.
In the event the recycling centre isn’t open Tuesday and Wednesday, and we were hit by a heavy, thundery shower as I returned with the shopping, so we’ve left the water till first thing in the morning. We should just about have enough.
We've enjoyed spending time with Sue and Vic, and latterly Anne, but it's oh so good to be on the move again!
Locks 3, miles 2½