On Sunday, to conclude our joyful family occasion this weekend, we took “the kids” for lunch to the ‘King and Queen’ in the village of Longcot, Oxfordshire where we enjoyed good food and especially good company. Vicki, James, Frances, Kel, Doug and Ian (all sitting opposite our partners) about to sample the finest of roast potatoes in all the land.
A very proud dad between his two roses!
Due to numbers one of the ‘roses’ (Vicki) had to be consigned to the boot for the journey back home. Well someone had to hold on to the pumpkins!
The pumpkins safely made the journey back to boat when we returned to Cowroast marina late on Sunday evening - and the big one now looks like this on the roof.
On Monday Doug’s parents, Derek and Vilma, ………
……. and sister Dawn, came to visit us on “Chance” and spent a gloriously sunny day with us. We had a marvellous cruise together from Cowroast marina to Berkhamsted.
This morning, Tuesday, we left the “Port of Berkhamsted” at 7:30 for the longest day’s canal cruising we’ve done. 15 miles and 31 locks in 10 hours ……….
….. and the weather again was absolutely splendid. We couldn’t match the collection of pumpkins which this lock cottage had to offer!
Way down the canal, through Hemel Hempstead, Apsley, King’s Langley and Hunton Bridge, we arrived at the stretch of canal through Cassiobury Park, just outside Watford. It’s a lovely area now somewhat plagued by large numbers of unkempt canal craft. This one was one of the more amusing ones – let’s hope the wind doesn’t get up!
However, there are still stretches where the glories of nature can still be enjoyed untouched.
There are some architectural highlights to be had – like Lady Capel’s bridge ……..
…….and just beyond that is the glorious former mill building looking very nice amid it’s autumn framing.
Most of today’s locks we tackled on our own with just a few being shared with other boats. Five locks were made easier sharing with Aileen and ‘Shady’ on nb “The Sharp End” (bizarrely we’ll be meeting them again in the New Year during another adventure!) …….
……. and just one lock sharing with trading boat “Hyperion” which we took further advantage of and bought an extra bag of coal (much easier when you’re in a lock together).
After Cassiobury Park darkness quickly set in and we found a very pleasant mooring on the edge of the nature reserve below Springwell Lock. Another first for us - we’ve never knocked in mooring pins in the dark before!