Sunday, 28 July 2013

Hot in "Berko" (Berkhampstead)

Watching the weather forecast friday night and again this saturday morning, we decided on a slight change of plan. The weather man say rain from mid morning saturday, then a better day Sunday, so we would have an early start anticipating mooring up when the rains started.

So we left our moorings at 0730. It was cooler than of late, but comfortable, with a light mist over the water. The sky however showed no sign of the weather forecast, being blue with fluffy white clouds..

Ali has experimented with lock filling on double locks when we are alone. Entry via one gate. Lift ground paddle on the same side that the boat is sitting, then cross the lock and open the gate paddle on that side. This tends to hold the boat in place and then the ground paddle is opened. Hard work for Ali, but easy for me as the boat maintains it's position.

So up the locks we went. I must admit, this end of the Grand Union is new territory for us and we are finding it very pleasant, It is clean and green and conurbations are tidy and welcoming. The back is certainly not turned on the canal thus far. An awful lot of lock's though!

We passed under the motorway and were soon in the environs of Hemel Hempstead (Hemo!). What a pleasant place this appears. There are full services here, literally just above Apsley lock. As we rose in the lock I could see a boat "moored" directly outside the services, leaving me the only option to use the lock landing in order to water up. Bresting up was not possible as it was only little and stated "Taunton" as home ground. There is no way this boat had just stopped to use the services.  We are sure the person on board was just up! I am from now on I have decided, going to brest up to any boat moored on services. Anyway. moan over, we moved on to just below Boxmoor lock, moored up and walked into town for a few bit's and bobs's. Very pleasant it was too.

As we ploughed on, the heat and humidity rose, with still no sign of the promised rain. This became draining and by the time we reached the outskirts of "Berko", we really were wilting. Ali spotted a mooring prior to Rising sun lock, and we called it a day by 1430. Tried to chill out all afternoon, but it remained hot and humid. The rains eventually came at about 1800, but thus far not in the intensity foretold. Just hope tomorrow is kind, but mayhap a little cooler?

Fishing in the rain at the back of the boat

Miles 8
Locks 17
Swing bridges 1


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