Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Grove Park - Watford at its finest! (cruise retrospective)

Today was a day of relaxed cruising in the warmest, sunniest weather we've had this year. It was largely uneventful, too. There's nothing wrong with that. It was a calm, lovely experience of jolly good boating. Springwell Lock, Stocker's. It's odd to think that it's only a couple of days since we were passing through built-up areas, London outskirts. Today, we're right back in the countryside. A stop at Tesco to refill the fridge, Batchworth Lock, then Lot Mead.

This one was a bit of a pain. The problem was that the top lock was leaking so much that it seemed as though it would never empty enough for the bottom gates to be opened to let Kantara in. The meeting of the top gates was very gappy, and one gate paddle seemed to be partly open, even though the winding mechanism was fully down. I tweeted CRT, and wasn't too impressed by their Social Media Twit of the day who was unable to find "Lot Mead Lock 79 on the GU main line", and had to ask a series of questions, finishing with "Can you tell me what town it's near?" I couldn't be bothered to continue the conversation. The bottom gate finally opened. I assume CRT have a map somewhere. They'll find the leaky lock one day, and fix it.

I arrived at Common Moor Lock to find a lady at the top gate, waiting for the lock to fill. She was looking up the canal, watching a splendid widebeam approaching slowly. WB Still Rockin'. I took my place at the gate opposite her, and we chatted. The skipper's timing was impeccable, and he arrived at the gates just as we were opening them for him. As they drove out of the bottom gates, under the bridge and out of sight, they saw Grace in Kantara, waiting to enter. They recognized the boat name, and called out to Grace that they are readers of this blog. (Waves to the crew of WB Still Rockin'!)

At Cassio Bridge, we met up with NB Naughty Lass, and passed with her through the next three locks. Rob is a liveaboarder, working from home, has been in London, but now on his way to find a new place to stay in the north of England. Naughty Lass left us after Cassiobury Park Locks, while we went on just a little further to moor at the Crow Bridge in the lovely Grove Park.

It's been another good day of weather, people, birds and blossom, ending now in a superb spot not far from the not-so-lovely Watford.

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