Monday, 3 January 2011

Short hop

The short hop to Rickmansworth from Cassiobury park turned out to be more like a long stride! The ice had all gone either side of Iron Bridge lock and I'd seen a boat go past the day before so I thought it would be all clear to go for water and on to Rickmansworth. In fact, I was so cocky, I didn't bother setting off 'til the afternoon. There were plenty of walkers at the first lock bridge and the sight of a boat coming into the lock drew many more from the woods nearby. It was as though they had been waiting for a boat to appear, to leap out from behind trees. People were all friendly and waved and took photos but I did feel a bit nervous with what must have been 25/30 people clustered around, WATCHING!
Then I came round the bend and into the ice.. It was much thicker than where I'd been and had frozen over again since that boat had gone through, so I don't think I was too popular with the boaters moored either side at Croxley Green, crunching ice up against them. Luckily, Alan and Frances weren't on their boat nb Lazydays at that moment, to see me taking the blacking off their boat -oops!- but I was happy to see them arriving just as I was filling up with water. Lucky me, they were coming down through the next lock too so I could share the lock and watch Frances doing all the work. Alan had an excellent excuse with a foot injury; I was just being lazy. Not only did Frances break ice and work the lock but she also walked ahead and worked me through the next two locks, a good trek apart! One pound was so shallow, a boat had got stuck across the canal. Once he was free, neither of us could have gotten near the side to set the lock. Thanks Frances!
I ran out of light before quite reaching the spot I was heading for, but that doesn't matter, it's all part of the fun. It's good to be bumbling along again :-)

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