Friday, 23 August 2013

Thursday nights view from our mooring just before Norton junction
Friday morning view in almost the same place before departure
Off at 8 in company with Epiphany.  Geoff and John driving, Barney and I walking and Fi gently getting up.....or maybe she was cooking breakfast........

Our walk to Watford lock was slightly longer than I had bargained for and after a night of not sleeping well managed to shatter me for a while!!!

Epiphany turning at Norton

Petroc likewise
Epiphany leading Petroc

However we were pleased to see when we reached the bottom of the 7 locks that no one was in front of we thought we were in for a quick wrong can one be.   John walked up to check with the lock keeper( cannot proceed here without his say-so). ...and we told we could go through the first lock.    Fi went ahead on Epiphany and I gaily followed immediately under the impression that we were still in wide locks..........first mistake of the day......I did think the entrance looked a little memory had failed yet again as we were back to single locks.

Epiphany through the first lock and Petroc about to join her in the long wait
I eventually followed up and there we both waited below the second lock .......and waited and is one way traffic because of the staircase of 4 in the middle and the lock keeper had decided to let down 7 boats before we were allowed to proceed........

Good teamwork
John hard at work
However we were not in a rush, the weather was dry and not too hot, we all helped the 7 boats as they passed through the locks on either side of us, there was time to make coffee and toast and the surrounding countryside was lovely.........hard to believe that just a stones throw over the hedge was the busy M1 and the Watford Gap motorway fact that was the only sound disturbing the morning and even that was OK as we were not in a car but gently travelling a canal at a much slower  pace of life....... 
In the staircase
M1 and Watford gap services just over the trees to the left
nearly there
Despite the long wait to get going it was a good fort the Crick tunnel which was not far ahead
As we entered Barney and I departed below, something he is never very keen to do........We met one boat coming the other way who was not steering too well and succeeded in making us scrape alongside the wall with very nasty noises down below.......Barney was considerably put out..... and restless.........I was none too impressed later when I saw the scraping to the side of the boat....but that will have to wait until we are moored on a suitable bank on that side.......
Just after the end of the tunnel lies Crick and the marina.  There was plenty of online mooring, even 14 days, so we pulled in just ahead of Epiphany.
Boe arrived later in the afternoon, after a very protracted journey from Chobham.  Journey was 100 miles and should have taken 2 hours but took 4, how much of that was down to traffic and how much down to Boe and her driving is unknown!!!!
I was somewhat exhausted after a longish day but Fi had offered to cook supper for us all.   This we partook on Petroc and a convivial evening was had by all........
Total distance:5.22 miles 
Elapsed time:4h1m49s 
Average speed:1.30 mph (3.03 lock/mph) 

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