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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rickmansworth to Harefield.

Tuesday 7th April.
Rickmansworth to Harefield, 2.8 miles and 3 locks.

We spent a lovely few days at Rickmansworth. On Saturday we walked around the town and I popped into Iceland for some cooked chicken pieces, and as always ended up buying a few other bits for the freezer, which included some ice cream Magnums mmmmm.
Sunday we took a walk around the aquadrome as it was such fantastic weather. It seemed like the whole world and his wife had come out to play.
It was lovely to see whole families out having a picnic, play ball with the kids, children riding their bikes, everyone having a throughly good time. We took the opportunity to sit and watch a model boat club having a race day with another club. They were sailing model yachts around a course and were taking it all very seriously. They even had some races with prizes. Guess the prize?????
The prize was an Easter Egg LOL.
Monday we did a few boat jobs, which included tidying the hold and making a shelf for under the cratch. There is a Travis Perkins close by so Keith nipped in there in the morning and bought some wood and we set about constructing a shelf. It looks and works brilliantly, after working so hard, we thought we deserved lunch in town at the Chinese Buffet, which we have eaten at before. All you can eat for £5. A real must if your in Rickmansworth and you like Chinese food. We also popped into the Canal Centre by Batchworth Lock, as they have some of my poetry books for sale and I wanted to see if they needed topping up. I managed to sell a book whilst we were chatting, and was more than happy to sign the copy for him.
Tuesday saw us leave our mooring and head over to the Tesco mooring, where we would leave the boat whilst we did a food shop in the Supermarket. There are a couple of large signs on the moorings which state quite clearly that the moorings are for Tesco only and that there is STRICTLY NO OVER NIGHT MOORING. Clearly one private boat owner could not read, even though he was mooring right by the sign. He had been moored on the moorings for two nights. Anyway we did our food shop and left the mooring, destination Harefield.
We had a pleasant cruise on such a fabulous morning. The fun and games began as we cleared Spring Well Lock. Just below the lock we saw a boat just about it seemed to pull away from the bank, so we slowed down to allow the boater to set off, but he was in fact trying to get his boat on to the moorings on the Spring Well Farm moorings. There he was pushing his tiller arm from side to side, with absolutely no effect. There seemed to be no guts in his engine. Keith reckoned he did not even have it in gear. Anyway we watched as he poked his bow into the mooring on the opposite bank, this was acheived by the wind and not by his own actions. He then put his hands to his head in dismay, as he had no clue what to do next. He leapt up on to the boats roof, grabbed the centre line and left the boat at the bow, hoping to pull the boat round. Oh now that was never going to work, because the boat was now wedged across the canal. The boater climbed back onto the boat, ran along the roof and jumped down on to the counter, his dog has now had enough and has abandoned ship at the stern and is standing on the towpath, wondering what on earth his owner is doing. We were wondering the same thing. He tried to push the stern away from the bank, but had little effect, so he then got his pole and tried to push his way over to the mooring, but it was clear he had no idea of what to do next. Watching him it was clear he was almost at the point where he was about to jump up and down on the spot, screaming like a banshe. I reckon he was now desperate for some help, which came in the form of another boater on the Spring Well Farm moorings, he came to his rescue with a tug, which he used to push the boat back on to the towpath side to allow us to pass. I said thank you, to the tug driver, to which the man on the striken boat shouted "I am sorry". It gave us 15 minutes of pure entertainment. I so wish I had the video camera to hand, because it would have been sent to "You've Been Framed".
So with that over and done with we descended down through Coppermill Lock, passing Pisces the working boat Keith worked on when he was 15 years old and found a mooring past the Coy Carp Pub. After some lunch we walked up to Keith's sister and brother-in-law, where we enjoyed a nice few hours, drinking coffee and catching up on all the family news.
Today (Wednesday), we have walked along Troy Cut, which is privately owned now. In the clear crisp water we spotted three pike lurking, just waiting for dinner to swim past.
The walk takes you around a huge lake, which looked magnificent with the sun shining on the water. At the end of Troy Cut we caught a glimpse of an old working boat with the Ovaltine Logo on the cratch. On closer inspection it is being restored by the Troy Wharf Trust, where they restore old working boats. We could not see a name, but it was lovely to see one of the old Ricky boats being brought back to life. There were a couple of old wooden boats, which were now left to mother nature, which is very sad.

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