Last night we walked through the reservoirs back to Marsworth, to eat at the Angler's Retreat. We both had pie and veg, which were good, although all the other customers seemed to know each other, which we always find a bit disconcerting! The state of the reservoirs was quite shocking. Tringford and Marsworth were both several feet lower than they should be, but Startops End was verging on empty.
The moorings at the current end of the Wendover arm are very quiet, and we slept well. This morning was sunny and calm, and we set off at about 8.45. We'd planned to do a wash load while on the lock free section, but the Travel Power (engine driven generator) wouldn't come on. We tried it a couple of times, and checked all the basic things. In the end, we gave up. The Wendover Arm seemed to have much more water this morning -- I guess the levels had recovered a bit overnight, while the locks weren't being used. We reached Bulbourne Junction in about half an hour, and turned right. A little way further on is BW's Bulbourne Depot, where lock gates are made. Part of the building has clearly been let to someone who creates metal scuptures.
We entered the Tring Cutting to find a boat across the canal. Adrian got off and pulled it to the side, banging in its one mooring pin; the other ropes had apparently been attached to bit of wood stuck in the ground, which may explain why it had come loose.
The cutting itself is lush, green, and chilly. It's not as deep as some of those on the Shroppie, but remarkable none the less.
At Cowroast, we turned into the marina to see if someone could look at the Travel Power. In the mean time, Adrian had posted a question to the Briadbar Owners' Group, and had replies saying that sometimes these things take a while to wake up. That probabaly explains why it worked fine when an engineer came to look at it. He recognised Briar Rose: the previous owner had bought it there, and stayed for a while in the marina.
I reversed out of the marina, while Adrian went down to the lock, where a boat was coming up. They stayed in the lock quite a long time after it was open, as they went to empty their loo. As we finally went in, another boat arrived, so we had a partner for the locks down to Berkhamsted. Radinka had two ex-squaddies on board, one of whom was recovering from a broken back -- yet still managed to work quite a few of the locks. Some of the locks here need to be left empty and with a bottom paddle open, so needed filling. Some need a BW key to unlock the gear. At some, we met boats coming up.
At Berkhamsted, we moored up below Lock 52 at lunchtime. We went to Waitrose, which is alongside the canal, for lunch in the cafe and provisions. We then decided to stay put for a while and do the washing; while that was going on we washed the towpath side of the boat (using the Washmatic system we bought at the IWA National; you really can do a whole boat side and the roof with one tiny bucket of water), and I did the mushrooms and portholes. Until now, we've been about half a day ahead of schedule, and Berkhamsted was in the plan as tonight's overnight stop. So we decided to stay where we were. It's a nice spot, opposite a park, although the Virgin trains are quite loud. I decided to start trying to clean the brass Houdini hatch, and Adrian started setting up the satellite dish. A couple of minutes later, I heard a splash, and saw Adrian swimming to the side: he'd fallen off the gunwales. He was OK -- a little shaken at first, but was able to stand up get out of the water. It certainly gave our neighbouring boats something to talk about.
7 miles, 7 locks. (75 miles, 55 locks)