Friday, April 15, 2011

Herbie's new home

Well here we are at Crick at last, tucked into our new berth after a journey of 172 miles, 98 locks, two tunnels and 11 pubs. (That's us with the white flashes and the diamonds down the front.)  Truly a new chapter for Herbie and for us.  It all seems very strange after five years on a breasted up linear mooring at Iver.  How nice to be able to get alongside the boat, after 5 years of climbing over other boats (albeit belonging to good friends).. 

 I've already made a start with wax polishing one side and it'll give me the opportunity to paint a logo on the front flashes and some more text beneath the HERBIE on the main name panel. I can hardly wait!
We have a  little grassy knoll to sit out at too,with a picnic table, and we are almost next to the main boat entrance from the canal, so we can enjoy the antics of the boats making the difficult turn in and out as they come and go.

Although there are a lot more boats up here, it is very rural and we can hear the sheep bleating across the canal (admittedly against the muted background roar from the M1 not far away!). 

Of course there's no gain without pain.  To get here you have to negotiate the Watford staircase lock flight and the very wet and drippy Crick tunnel.  Actually I really enjoyed the staircase, so much so that I completely forgot to take any photographs.  Coming up the locks is really pretty quick,and they are very attractive and efficient, but waiting your turn is the price you have to pay.  The lockie lets a few boats down then a few boats up etc.  We had to wait around 45 minutes for our turn.

These are not like other staircases I have used.  There is no direct water feed between one chamber and the next.  The higher lock empties into the side pond and the lower lock fills from the same pond.  All is well as long as you start the filling before the emptying, otherwise the side pond can overflow.  (Apologies to anyone who hasn't a clue what I am going on about - experienced boaters will understand!).

Tomorrow we pack up and drive home, then with a proper computer and a better broadband link I can recount some of the good bits of the trips for you, with some more pics.

So far Crick looks pretty good and the thought of all that unexplored canal is mouth watering.  I think we might like it here.

Special thanks to Rick and Marilyn who not only crewed for part of the journey, but also ferried others back and forth and to cap it all, provided a bottle of bubbly to celebrate our arrival.


Anonymous said...

Good to see Herbie happily nestling in new surroundings. Lots of new exploring to be done from that base (I found the Laughton hills, the Welford arm and Foxton locks lovely)and I even enjoyed the patience needed for the Watford flight where I had a good chat to one of the friendly lock-keepers (she lives on a boat herself).
Let me know if you need a windlass-woman, I'd be happy to help!

Vallypee said...

Congratulations on Herbie's new home! It looks great and I wouldn't consider the locks or the tunnel a downside. Makes arriving something to remember. Do you have to drive very far to get there now?
PS I've just come back to blogland this week, so it seems like an auspicious occasion on which to 'visit' you.

Simon said...

happy new pontoon!

I'll keep you posted on news from Iver, and I hope hope we can come out & join you at some point - keep us posted on plans!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations - your new home looks lovely - it's nice to have a change of scenery.

We think we're coming your way this summer - we'll keep you posted. Reading your entertaining posts has reminded me how great it is to be in the room with the even more entertaining people doing the posting!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream