Time on the canal is distorted, I'm sure. We found it was 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and we'd not had lunch. Knowing what day it is is worse. Our Day Clock is inside the boat. There's an LCD clock at the stern, though. We really ought to use it sometimes!
So this post goes right back to Friday. The first day of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. After a very rainy night, we woke to much better weather.
Walkers and cyclists were out in good numbers. Boats were still thin on the water. We descended the locks into Berkhamsted in leisurely fashion, with gongoozlers a permanent fixture. We passed a man trying to enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch at a bench by the Northchurch lock, but being accosted by a pair of sandwich-loving swans. When the man stood and shuffled round to stand behind the bench, the crafty pair moved in on him, one each side. But no way was he going to share his food, so him stuffed it down quickly before making a dash for it. Swans can be a real nuisance.
Cowroast Lock bears notices telling users to leave the chamber empty with a bottom gate open. This is to prevent the lock filling (because the top gates are leaky), and water seeping under the coping stones at the top of the walls, and making its way into the adjacent cottage. In fact, these instructions appeared on most of the locks down into Berkhamsted, regardless of the presence of cottages.
Arriving in the town centre in bright, warm sunshine, we moored opposite the children's playground, crowded with children and parents. The long stretch of mooring was very wet. The towing path next to a rather narrow grass verge was muddy and puddled. The verge was just as bad. But pinning wasn't too much of a problem. The ground was full of small stones, and these had the effect of gripping the mooring pins.
The shops are just a few minutes' walk from this spot, and M & S was our choice for stocking up with food.