Hello again. We're back from Herbie's latest trip up the good old GU, which despite half the rest of the country being in flood, was quite benign. In fact although we had a few heavy downpours, we spent most of the time in reasonable weather. During the heaviest showers we just moored up, made a cup of tea and waited. In a downpour at Black Jacks lock I passed the time by playing at being a photographer with this result.
There was no shortage of water in the canal and quite a few locks had water pouring in over the top gates and out over the bottom ones. Sometimes this made the locks hard to empty, but none were so slow as the notorious Iron Bridge lock in Cassiobury Park near Watford. This takes forever to fill as you sit there and wait and wait and wait. There are always gongoozlers watching you too there as its such a pretty spot. On the way home we had an audience of thirty of em, all boy / girl scouts, while Kath took her turn with the windlass.
I'll spare you a blow by blow account of the whole trip and just give you some highlights over the next few postings.
One thing we did was take the boat right to the end of the Wendover arm, which we had only half done before. Boy is it narrow in places!
If I hadn't seen with my own eyes 70ft working boats with deep drafts up there earlier this year, I would have bottled out half way. The channel is narrow, bendy and shallow and there is a current against you ( and a stiff breeze too when we did it). It really feels like the boat is going uphill. The Wendover arm is used to supply water to the main canal from the pumping station at Tring reservoirs, hence the current.
Once past the pumping station everything eases off and the last short length to the end has been beautifully built by the volunteers from the WA Trust with a good winding hole and excellent moorings. We moored up by Little Tring Bridge and walked in the sunshine down to Tring to get a couple of 9 pint cans of draught beer from Tring Brewery. A must if you visit the area.