Friday, July 10, 2015

Winding up

Today I took my turn on the end of the windlass, after spending most of the trip so far at the tiller, concentrating hard but not exerting myself much (though you do get a sore right shoulder, and tired feet). The locks came evenly-spaced so the work was steady and there wasn't much time in between for relaxing. We started with the staircase lock, where this time a boat was coming up, and there was some confusion amongst the chief-less Indians about how to handle it, with an alarmingly-exposed cill at one point. The unusually tall gates on this one weigh 3330kg each (the others are mostly around 1500kg).

We're going down the canal now, which makes things easier, and despite feeling unhurried and chatting with the boaters going up, we were finished with the day's quota of locks by lunchtime. It was lovely to be surrounded by fields and trees and flowers; but some of us were feeling pressured to secure a mooring by the pub chosen for our last night's dinner, and we pressed on again, into the messy suburbs, under bridges busy with noisy traffic.

All was well: we moored right outside the pub - The Moorings - well within staggering distance of the boat, and enjoyed a well-earned Scrumpy Jack or Erdinger outside on the terrace in the long, warm evening. The food there, by the way, is terrific, the best of the trip - a great way to end our last full day on the Grand Union.

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