Lock and more Locks – 9th July 2019

As we make our way towards London we are going down from the Tring Summit which is creating quite a number of locks to negotiate each day. We have been twinning up with a chap in his 41 foot boat for the last couple of days to help him with all the locks. It also helps us in that we don’t end up banging around in the locks. We will probably be with him until we turn off onto the Regents Canal.

Altogether we did 13 locks and one swing bridge. This particular swing bridge was fun as firstly it was electric and secondly we got to stop traffic – gotta love that.

Alas, we only inconvenienced one car.

We often cruise past marinas as well as boat maintenance yards and you get to have a good look at what the bottom of a canal boat looks like. It is indeed as flat as a pancake. The boats need to come out of the water every 3-4 years to have their hulls pressure cleaned and reblackened. This helps to protect the metal hull from the damage of constant water contact. This is only one of the many maintenance issues you have to address when you own a canal boat. We looked into owning a canal boat back in 2016 and learnt just how intensive the maintenance schedule is and also costs of marina fees during winter. Hence, we decided it would be a little more expensive to hire boats but we wouldn’t have to sink a lot of funds in the initial purchase and watch our asset devalue. Buying and selling a canal boat is also fraught with obstacles.

We have been following along the London Northwest Railway line for the last few days and it is quite stupefying when you see how frequent the trains are. They whiz along at amazing speed with only 30 seconds between each train on the same line. This photo depicts the fastest ground transport next to the slowest. It was after all the train that caused the demise of the canals.

Last night we ended up moored on a bit of a shelf which put us on a slope. Overnight the water in the pound we had moored in lowered so we ended up on such an angle that you had cling to the side of the bed to stay on board. We decided we were not going to go through that again so after a few false mooring attempts this evening we finally settled very close to this carriageway.

Another night of choosing poorly. We are pretty much right under the M25 which is the ring road around London. It is also famously known as the largest parking lot in the UK. X marks our spot and the red circle also marks where the M25 meets the M1, so not the quietest spot on the canal system to pull in for the night. This also demonstrates just how close we are to our destination of London. We have nine more cruising hours and two days, so should make our schedule.

There was a boat just moored in front of us but half an hour later we discovered it had pulled its mooring pins and there was no one on board. This happened to us back in 2016 and we had our saviours Wolfgang and Mike save us, so it was a no brainer for Fraser with the help of another boater to come to the rescue.

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