Minus 6 yesterday morning at 5am but it had warmed up a little by the time we were ready to cast off at 7:15 ...
… Molly is tucked up nice and cosy
… it was now -3 and there were lovely swirls of frost on the roof of Still Rockin'
… and the sun was powerful!
Summer is coming and the River Thames is calling but first we have to ‘wind’ (turn around) as we’ve been cruising north over the past few weeks. George prefers to do things differently, we could have gone under the bridge in front of us to wind but last time we did this we found that the winding hole (designated place to turn) was not quite long enough for Still Rockin’.
So instead he reversed from our mooring whilst I set Apsley Top Lock and waited for him to arrive. Just below the lock is the sanitary station to which we availed ourselves of the services before descending Apsley Lock 66 … yes in reverse.
The third lock of the day (Apsley bottom lock) was also done in reverse (he’s very good at this you know). I was walking on to set the locks ...
… Still Rockin’ still reversing, you can see where the Grand Union Canal widens here by Apsley Marina entrance
… and finally he winds the boat … we’re now heading south properly!!
Bookends as we wait for Kings Langley Lock to fill before we can enter
I wonder if Nash Mills top lock will be on CRT’s winter maintenance programme this winter, it leaks rather badly and I couldn’t open these gates before the water was running over both the top and bottom gates and overflowed onto the towpath as Still Rockin’ entered. There’s a lot of water about today after all the rain we’ve had recently.
At Hunton Locks the situation changed; the top lock was fine but as I brought SR out of the lock a CRT operative arrived, he was letting water down as the pound below (stretch of canal between two locks) was very low. We’ve had this trouble here several times in the past but today it wasn’t our concern thankfully.
The remainder of our cruise in wonderful sunshine but with a chilly breeze when the sun disappeared behind a cloud for a moment or two went without any problems. We caught up with a couple on a hire boat out for a three week cruise from Gayton Junction heading for London’s Regent Canal were a little slow at the locks but better to do things at their own pace and safely than be rushed and sorry.
The locks on this stretch of the canal come quick and fast so there was no time for me to prepare lunch to eat on the go and it was now midday, so at Lady Capel Lock I told George that I’d look out for a mooring where we can pull over and have lunch before carrying on to our destination of Cassiobury Park.
I found that mooring at Grove Mill; it’s usually jam packed with boats but today we were lucky and found a space just the right size. We’ve only managed to moor here once before 5/6 years ago on our first narrowboat Rock ’n’ Roll.
How about these views outside your window …
… our mooring at Grove Park
It was 1pm and 12 locks and 4.5 miles and 5¾ hours later (in canal speak this equates to 16.5 lock miles) when we arrived here and decided that this was perfect for tonight and that maybe, just maybe we’ll stay for longer.
7:20 and the sun is setting over the golf course opposite
… and a bit later I just managed to grab the camera and dash to the bow of Still Rockin’ to snap this picture of mummy and daddy Egyptian with their offspring, not a brilliant shot as it was on full zoom. I’ve never seen baby Egyptian Geese before. But I was soooo lucky ...
… because … the mummy returned!
More of our outlook … the shadows get longer
… as the sun finally sets.
What a wonderful day