Friday, 29 May 2015

Single hander and a blond bimbo

Walking back to our mooring after my physio appointment on Wednesday 

in the warm sunshine
 I chanced on mb Banstead and butty Bodmin in the lock
In the afternoon we had visitors - Paul (with back to camera) and his son Tom (far left) came to have a look at Still Rockin’.  The last time we saw them was at Bramble Cutting (above) on 4th September 2010 when they were keen to have first refusal if we ever sold nb Rock ’n’ Roll!

Thursday we pulled the pins and set off and as we were pointing towards Apsley that’s where we went.  Once we’d used the services we dropped down the lock, did a bit of shopping, had lunch and untied again.  I walked on to set the first of three locks on our way to Nash Mills but a narrowboat was just about to enter so I closed the gate after him as he appeared to be a single hander. I also opened and closed the gate as he exited too and at the next lock George went to help him, setting the lock and opening and closing the top gate and opening the sluices when out from the cabin came … yes you’ve guessed it … a blond bimbo! She chatted to the ‘single hander’ as he boarded his boat and left the lock with George having to close the gate behind him. At the third lock I could see that there was someone else opening one of the gates so we thought a boat was coming up so we held back a bit so as not to meet it next to moored boats.  I walked ahead and there was no boat just a helpful passerby who closed the gate after the boat went in.  Then out of the lock went the ‘single hander’ with bimbo beside him reading the newspaper to him leaving the bottom gate open for me to close.  I was furious!!! but there wasn’t much I could do was there!

The remainder of the short cruise was uneventful and we’re now moored at Kings Langley until Wednesday next week.

Monday, 25 May 2015

What’s going on at Bourne End?

I’ll let the pictures give you an idea of what’s going on between Pix Farm and our mooring ...

They look so serene 
 … but can be murderous too!
Whilst we had moved to get water the chap in the boat moored in front of us told us that the cob had attacked one of the Canada geese families and had held one of the parent birds under the water but that he’d managed to escape, thank goodness!
Later we saw this lone gosling frantically swimming up and down tweeting for his family.  Unfortunately the swan found him and killed him.  Just looking at the picture makes me want to weep.
 Early morning ablutions!
There’s usually 4 horses in the field, 3 of which are stabled at night and each morning we’ve seen this one standing by the gate waiting for his/her mates to come out to play.  That’s the bird with the broken wing in the foreground, he spends most of his time on the bank just there. 

Just before we left

… Bourne End

 … George managed to black the bow

 … and the new Canada kids had a splashing time!
Then on Monday we moved on … a long way … 2 ½ miles and 4 locks back to Hemel.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Going for water and noisy fish!

The weather forecast told us that Thursday was a good day to go for water 1 ¼ miles and 3 locks there and of course the same back.  We started off fairly early (for us anyway) at 8:15 thinking that it wouldn’t be too busy and I walked on to set Sewer Lock 58 and waited for Still Rockin’ to arrive.
There were similar notices on locks 58 and 56 except that on Top Side Lock (56) it also stated that it was due to be repaired  during the 2016/17 winter maintenance plan, that's a long time to wait and it probably only applies to the one lock!
 I think this was the chamber of lock 58 - a bit of a mess indeed.

There were quite a few boats on the move two of them following us and of course I lifted a paddle as we left.

We arrived at the water-point and filled the tank and we then had to reverse back to the top lock, but by then the boats behind us had caught up and they informed us that there were another two following close behind so we waited for them to pass.  Then a boat came towards us who also said that two boats were following him so we waited for a few minutes and when they didn’t appear George put the stern against the opposite bank, I got off to walk to the lock 
... whilst he reversed Still Rockin’
 … squeezing between two moored boats and one ‘hovering’ boat

 He made a good job of getting the bow into the winding hole (turning point) and completing the turn.  It was 12:45 by the time we put the pins in again opposite Pix Farm.

George had repainted beneath the gunwale on the ‘other’ side on Tuesday and so yesterday was able to to do this side.  The stern and the bow are going to be a bit more difficult.
Since we returned to our mooring we’ve heard what sounds like water being poured into the canal on the towpath side and couldn’t understand what it was.  The noise had even woken us up a couple of times during Thursday night.  Today we discovered what it was … FISH!  They are spawning against the bank alongside the boat and the pouring water sound is when they’re thrashing about doing their ‘stuff’, there were loads and loads of them!

We’re on the move again tomorrow back to Hemel, I’ve a dental appointment on Tuesday and physio again on Wednesday.

Saturday, 23 May 2015


FMC Clover   and 

Sickle passing us as they leave the Rickmansworth Festival

Lots of young children to help with the locks and walking as their boat appears to have engine problems! 

A visit from Jules and Richard is always very welcome

 Disappearing round the bend and the approaching rain
… did it rain, short but very sharp!