The return trip from "Ricky" commences. Unusually I have ended up with quite a few pictures that I like, and trying to pad them out with masses of matching text would not be appropriate.
1) We managed to get away from Ricky before the slow wide beam that had held us up on the way down.
2) We were joined for the first three locks by the rather magnificent Stewarts & Lloyds tug "Pacific" - a boat I could lust after if I didn't own "Sickle".
3) It rained a lot at first, but improved massively later.
4) We quickly found ourselves to be part of a longish procession of boats, catching up some single handers who were fast enough for 2 people working 2 boats on a windy day, but still slower than everybody else.
5) We were followed fairly closely by "Friends of Raymond", often seeing their lock-wheelers where we were queuing for locks. but never actually the boats, until we stopped to shop and do "services".
6) Cath and I shared steering and lock working fairly evenly. My duff shoulder has survived maybe a dozen locks, every one of which needed "turning".
7) We met two people still employed by CRT who had worked with "Sickle" in the 1970s.
But that's more words than I promised - here are the pictures!
|"Sickle" and "Pacific" share Batchworth lock.|
|Lot Mead Lock|
|Common Moor Lock|
|"Bodmin", "Banstead" & "Sickle" - "Banstead" was at Ricky as well.|
|"Belfast" - Our first failed attempt to buy a working boat (in 1972!).|
|We are not at all impressed with the new high rise developments at "Nash".|
|Between Nash and Apsley - generally I don't think of this as a picturesque stretch|
|As above - I love the water in this one.|
|I think this bridge is quite unique on the Grand Union.|
|Last remnants of Apsley Mill - we both used to work here in the 1970s, and watch "Sickle" in this very lock!|
|Jules and Richard with Towcester and Bideford - Bideford was once butty to our Flamingo.|
|Nutfield and Raymond in the experienced hands of Tom and Alice Lapworth|
|"Slaughter's" Lock, Boxmoor|
Rickmansworth to Winkwell
Miles: 11.0, Locks:22
Total Miles: 47.6, Locks: 83