Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A better day.

(With both boats - posted by Alan)

One of only 3 surviving Grand Union swing bridges.
I apologise that my last two days of postings have very much concentrated on our failures to get along at the rates we hoped might be possible - perhaps too gloomy for what I acknowledge should be, (and generally is), fun.

Marsworth locks
Firstly I am aware that many who go canal boating specifically do not set themselves any particular deadlines about how far they want to get in a set time.  They would say it should never be about rushing, and that anybody who sets targets is doing it all wrong, and denying themselves the relaxation that canal boating can give "why be in a rush" or "it's not a race".  I have absolutely no problem with that view, and for many it us undoubtedly the right one - in fact I have some considerable sympathy for it.

Marsworth again
Consider however the situation where various fixed appointments are competing for your time, and you actually do not wish to miss out on one thing you want to do, in order to do another.  A big thing in our life, where the situation permits, is to try to get our historic boats to any appropriate festival we can manage.  This at the very least sets a time by which we need to complete a journey - if we are not at an event by the time it starts, we will miss some or all of it!  However we also have a considerable commitment to New Moon Morris, a Morris dancing side based in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire, but which also attends fixed events, with similar constraints - if you are not there in time, you miss it, but also potentially let down the people who were in time.

Ducks at Marsworth
So our personal calendar has to consider what canal events we will do, also what Morris and Folk events, then try to ensure a plan that those we commit to, we actually get to.  Last weekend New Moon Morris had agreed to do an event, and Cath and David at least, (myself less so, as I'm no dancer!), were needed for the numbers, due to quite a few others not being available.  This coming weekend we are booked into Rickmansworth Canal Festival.  A canal planner showed that we should have enough time, once we had travelled to the boats, to make the boat trip from Northamptonshire to "Ricky", so we hoped not to have to work long days.  Given our rate of progress, we can still be where we need to be by a certain time, but the length of the days has caught us out, or at least  it did yesterday and the day before that.

Some interesting curves to steer around at Marsworth.
I was worried about today - it was a lot more locks, and I thought the same might happen, as lock working is decidedly slower with two boats instead of one - twice as many gates to open and shut, for a start, as a single narrow boat can pass through broad locks with only one of each pair used.  However today we have come very much nearer the time predicted by the planner, so wherever we are losing time, it doesn't seem to be the locks.

Marsworth yet again - a very smooth ascent.
I would judge we have had "a good day" today, and if we can replicate it over the remaining two days I will be well pleased.  I think we have thirty more locks to do, in two days - we did nineteen today, so put that way it doesn't sound too bad!

Waiting for Dudswell bottom lock.

Amd in Dudswell bottom lock.


Ivinghoe to Berkhamsted
Miles per boat: 9.0, Miles both boats: 18.0, Locks: 19
Total Trip Miles: 100.9, Locks: 39

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