Friday, 18 May 2018

Only loose boats to hold us up today.

(With both boats - posted by Alan)
(Post is for Thursday 17th May)

Tycho - Sickle's twin - I failed to get a shot with both in, unfortunately.
Another fine day that made both the canal and its surroundings look stunning at times, but it was never actually that hot - I started the day in a pullover, expecting to shed it quite early on, and in practice I never did.

About to leave Berkhamsted
We didn't start particularly early - David had taken a trip to do things at our house last evening, and not actually returned to the boat until midnight.  As he occupies one of the back cabins we can never really move the boats until he gets up!

 Approaching the rising sun
There is nothing that notable to report really, other than the continued frustration of people who can't tie their boats up properly.  We witness much use of inadequate stakes in soft ground, often with a foot of slack in the ropes to guarantee the boat moves freely back and forward as a boat passes, to give the best possible chances of the stakes being pulled out.  Today we had no sooner stopped to re-tie a large wide-beam boat that was blocking our path than we moved forward again to find a narrow boat doing the same.  The stakes were short, bent and totally inadequate for the ground they were in, and David was trying to hammer them a bit straighter before making the best of a bad job.

First of boats blocking our path.

There really do seem to be lots of loose boats these days, and I'm far from convinced most have had their stakes tugged out by speeders.  In many, (most?),  cases I would say the moorer is responsible because of their hopeless attempt at tying up.  I have to admit that because it is really quite difficult on much of the canal to stop with two heavily draughted ex working boats that we do not necessarily stop for boats obviously loose at one end, but not actually blocking our path.  Each one takes considerable time, and often some risk, to retrieve and sometimes you can't actually find a stake to use to retie to, so can anyway do nothing.

And the next - "Glad All Over" - A Dave Clark built boat - get it?
I suppose what has surprised us a lot is us so far simply not having seen any other boats actually on the move travelling to the same major festival as we are.  Hundreds of boats attend "Ricky" - I have no idea how many travel from the North, and how many from the South, although the evidence is that there are far more of the latter.

This appeared to be a pedal powered litter pick, but he didn't explain!
In the evening we moored at Kings Langley where a couple of friends from New Moon Morris also had their boat, so beers and chat were enjoyed until really rather late.  I really must learn to drink less beer - if I did, I might not have to get up so often in the night!

I hate this inappropriate development at the old Nash Mills site.

Retired Waterways tug Sickle passes tug Aynho, still at work with CRT

Berkhamsted to Kings Langley
Miles per boat: 6.8, Miles both boats: 13.6, Locks: 17
Total Trip Miles: 114.5, Locks: 56

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