Friday, 19 May 2017

Easier and More Manageable

(With both boats - posted by Alan)

Starting off for the day - first lock.
Well, in brief, if you don't want to read a fuller explanation, our plan, (or more accurately our plan that had to be frequently re-written), kind of worked out in the end.  We put in enough extra effort yesterday that today was manageable.  It was only actually only about four less locks today, and a similar mileage, but it just felt easier and less pressured throughout, even when for the final locks towards our destination things got very congested, and at least one other boater lot his cool really big time.  The latter was such a bizarre incident that if I retold what actually happened here, I don't think any single person not actually present at the time would believe me.  So I'll not try to explain, but talking to some of the "locals" afterwards, it appears this is not actually unusual for the person involved, and such outbursts are well known.  Perhaps it is a good thing that these days we only rarely venture this far down the GU!

David on Sickle
There's mot a lot extra to report really.  I do actually think that when we are concentrating on getting our act together we are doing considerably better with boating both boats together than when we first tried it.  Cath in particular is saying she feels far more confident going ahead with "Sickle", and I can see that she us far more adept at getting it on to difficult lock landings, and getting off and tethering it, whilst she starts to set the lock.  I for my sins did not repeat all the errors I made on the same trip last year, particularly at the several 90 degree tight bends through Cassiobury park.  I may still have been far from perfect, but equally nothing got hit - even the small moored "plastic" boat at the final bend, which has to have been in one of the most suicidal locations I have ever seen anyone choose!

Cassiobury Park - pretty as ever
Max (left) and Odin
David repeated his trick of cycling between locks whilst around the Iron Bridge area, with both Max and Odin in hot pursuit. The new slimmed down Max is now able to compete with Odin on fairly equal terms, something that seemed impossible a year ago, when the still very much fatter Max couldn't really hack it.  David was surprised initially that Odin seemed slower than last year - until he realised that last year he was riding a small folding bike, but this year was on a full sized mountain bike!

Assisted through Cassiobridge Lock by helpful CRT man Steve.
Kings Langley to Batchworth
(for the Rickmansworth Waterways Festival).
Miles per boat: 6.9, Miles both boats: 13.8, Locks: 13
Total Trip Miles: 128.3, Locks: 69

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