We are now located on a peaceful section of the Grand Union Canal alongside the picturesque Cassiobury Park at Watford. This gives us ready access to the Watford Undergound Station, shopping and lovely walks. We anticipate being here until Thursday afternoon when we return from yet another eye appointment. Keep your fingers crossed for a good outcome please!!!!
Last Tuesday our guests arrived in time for lunch and caught our attention from across the canal in the Tesco car park. Chris and Sue kindly delivered Mick and Kendra into our care and were delighted with the minor improvements we have made to Celtic Maid since we left her in their care in late May while we went to Venice. We took advantage of a break in the showery weather that afternoon to walk around The Aquadrome – Batchworth, Bury and Stocker’s Lakes – a haven for birdlife and water sports. So strange to see people knee boarding and skiing after the very slow pace of canal craft!!!! We made Mexican for dinner – in the absence of any accessible Mexican restaurants we made sure that Mick had his favourite “fix” before he suffered withdrawal symptoms. Mick and Kendra got the guest suite for their stay whilst we enjoyed the saloon bed!! Made it very comfy though!!!
We decided to give Mick and Kendra some experience of the locks so headed down the canal towards Uxbridge on Wednesday going through 3 locks before Bob completed a swan assisted turning pointing us upstream again. The rest of us managed a lot of walking between locks that day and we eventually moored near Lynster’s Lake and had a few celebratory drinks, roast dinner and an evening of card games.
On Thursday after much encouragement from our guests, Bron finally took the tiller and learnt how to take the Celtic Maid through the locks. With careful tutelage from Bob and a few minor scratches to our boat, Bron now has this (nearly) mastered and we can now share the load of the locks. Mick and Kendra got lots of practice on the paddles and lock gates and had a bit of help from some children once we hit the Cassiobury Park locks (please see the photos in the gallery!).
We continued upstream and finally moored at Hunton Bridge.
A short walk to try out the pubs and we had completed our research for a pub lunch on Friday, when Chris and Sue were to return with their daughter Sam and grandson Riley to ferry our guests back to Edgware in readiness for their trip to Paris to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. We had a rather late dinner that night as a result of the research so no more card games and some exhausted sleep.
A conversation between Kendra and Bron about glam camping being “glamping” resulted in a new word for what we are doing – “gloating” – glam boating!!!!! Has a certain ring to it!!!
Friday arrived and alas so did the end of the lovely visit by our friends – we hope they return soon! Lunch at the pub and then a short cruise to turn the boat around with Bron in command until the turning went horribly wrong and Bob had to take control. A skill yet to be mastered by Bron! Back to our mooring, a final coffee together and then a tearful farewell – well we do hope to meet up with them next weekend before they return to USA and to hear about their trip to Paris!!
Saturday morning and lots of domestic tasks to complete before relocating to Cassiobury Park. But we were blessed with a quick visit from Carolyn and Gary on NB Inca as they made their way up the canal from a short stay in London. As usual they were a wealth of information and we now have an excellent contact to get our bow and stern covers made.
Finally the washing was done and we were underway, with Bron doing the first lock and then taking over the tiller until we turned again to moor at our current location. On Sunday we went searching for the Watford Undergound Station (a short 20 minute walk) in preparation for a trip to Edgware on Monday (more health appointments). We then walked on to find the High Street and managed to buy a few more things to make life aboard more comfortable.
This blog should have been completed Sunday but a few technical issues and a lot of frustration prevented that outcome. But here we are today – health appointment completed, more shopping done, public transport navigations successful, a total of 30,000 steps completed over the last 2 days, and blog and gallery updated. A very successful couple of days.