Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Cassio Lock to Denham Deep Lock - feeling like London

As I type, we're moored at Lea Valley Marina on the River Lee. We bought a bottle of gas here, but we also needed to be plugged into mains electricity for a time, so we're staying until tomorrow.
Continuing with our trip, though...


It was clear from the start that our overnight here below Cassio Lock was not going to be peaceful. The place was full of geese. Fighting for mates or just plain arguing over them, pursuing desired mate, her protests against unwelcome pursuit, and the ultimate mating. It was raucous, to say the least. And it didn't stop all night.
We spent pretty much the whole of day 23 alongside the rivers Gade and Colne, which joined and left the canal at irregular intervals. For much of the time, lakes stretched out to both sides of us, too. It's a lovely area, full of birdlife, and very sunny on this day.

We descended the first three locks with NB Far Canal; two chatty skippers and a shy crew of two. I chatted with a young man coming up through the locks on his way from London. He gave me lots of "useful information for boaters visiting London"; to avoid mooring in one particular good-looking spot because there had been a spate of boat window breakages there recently; that breasting up to moored boats was the norm, even if the owner isn't there at the time; Paddington Basin being a good option over weekends, because more boats move out then. He and his wife were on a trip from London to Lincoln, Leeds, Liverpool and Llangollen. They're having an L of a time, he said!

Far Canal left us after Batchworth Locks while we stayed for services, moving on a short way afterwards at the canalside Tesco. Hats off to the designer of the mooring here, who had the whole structure clad in wood, to prevent damage to boat paintwork.

We stayed for several bites of lunch after our shopping, after which we carried on, skirting Harefield. Copper Mill Lock, Black Jack's Lock, still surrounded by lakes and country parks. Beautiful. 

We moored above Denham Deep Lock, the deepest on the Grand Union at 11 foot and 1 inch.
Somehow, it was beginning to feel a bit Londonny. The large buildings on the southern horizon, the frequent aeroplanes overhead, and the incessant noise of the busy A412.


  1. You meet some nice people on the cut, don't you? It seems like a very sociable life. As always, lovely photos. I do enjoy the old canalside buildings, industrial and otherwise.

    1. You're right, canal people are usually lovely. I put it down to the lifestyle, not being stressed (usually!), not being in a hurry. And the sheer beauty of a lot of the scenery. I'm glad you're liking the pics!

  2. Hi Roger,

    Do you have an email address I could contact you on at all? I work for Boatsandoutboards (UK's leading marketplace for boats) and we would love to feature your blog in a piece of content we are creating.

    Thanks very much,

    1. Hi, Laura. I'm intrigued! Please email me at I look forward to hearing from you.