Another day of heat! Summer has arrived! Enjoy it while it lasts!
We made a reasonably early start - at 7.15 - and it was slightly cooler then, but it was soon back to the baking hot weather we've become accustomed to.
Shortly after setting off we encountered fuel boat Ascot, where we filled up with diesel and bought a new gas cylinder.
We carried on up the locks to arrive, eventually, at the Tring Summit. Here the wooded cutting offered some welcome shade, but the water level was a good 9 inches down. Derwent 6 was tied up along this stretch - we stopped but no-one appeared to be in. Sorry we missed you, Del and Al.
For most of the locks today we managed to share with other boats, which made it an enjoyable social occasion. Before that, though, we encountered a wide beam in front of us going our way. Single handed. He apologised for being an "annoying wide beam" but I said that this canal, the Grand Union, was built for wide beam craft. He told us he'd had some abuse from some narrow-minded narrow boaters earlier in the day. I helped him at the locks until he tied up. Then we shared with nb The Arches on its way to London; fuel boat nb Heroditus/Hermione/Something beginning with "H"; and one or two others whose names I have forgotten.
I had decided that we'd get to the Crystal Palace pub/Chinese restaurant in Berkhampstead this evening. I had been lock wheeling for most of the day, and I was still on my bike recceing a suitable mooring, when a familiar-looking figure on the towpath informed me that the next lock should be set for us. I told him that we were tying up before the lock - and then I saw nb Chance coming round the bend. Ah - so that's why I half-recognised the person on the towath. Even though we hadn't met, it was Doug - and James was steering their boat. I shouted a hurried "Hello" to James and promised to find them later on. They had indicated that they would be tying up very soon.
Before we tracked them down we patronised the Crystal Palace and had a good Chinese meal (with one or two beers for me). Then we walked over to Chance and were made welcome on board. We chatted and were given a guided tour; then we invited James and Doug to Jubilee for the return tour. It was really good to meet you (now I must make sure your log is on my blog list...)
Did I promise photos today? No? Good. I do have some but, again, it has got too late to faff about with uploading etc., so they will have to wait. Perhaps tomorrow.
Now I must switch the insect-attracting lights off and go to bed ready for another heat-busting start in the morning. Better check Chance's blog first ...
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