Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Watford Gap.

Early on Monday morning we got underway towards Crick ready to go to the boat show at the end of the month.

IMG_0001 Watford bottom lock We arrived at Watford Locks with the M1 buzzing with traffic nearby, to join a small convoy going up. Bottle went to book in with the lock keeper who sent us straight in so no time wasted waiting around. The new volunteer lock keeper had just started this season and said that he was enjoying it, so far. I commented that the bottom lock cottage was looking good with all the white rendering removed to expose the lovely original brickwork. He said they had been told to re-render it as no planning permission had been obtained. We shall have to wait and see if the new owners win their battle with the council on this issue.

IMG_0003 Canada goslings The Canada Geese were proudly escorting their four fluffy goslings around the pound as we passed by into the staircase lock. This flight has side water storage ponds so none is wasted.

IMG_0007 Watford top lock When we reached the top we pulled over for water. The little hut was decorated with flags put up for the Royal Wedding and with the colourful flowers was quite a picture. I noticed some runner beans and tomato plants too, giving quite a homely feel to it all. Luckily we didn’t meet any boats through Crick Tunnel and we thought we were lucky to find a mooring place just below Bridge 12 near the show site that had not been reserved for boats attending the show. Anyhow on talking to the people on the boat in front of us they had paid £90 for their space and reckoned that ours was pre-booked too, although there were no signs up saying so. To be sure of a space for two weeks we decided to push on northwards. All moorings between Bridge 12 and 13 are reserved, despite a stretch being closed last year because it was Water-vole habitat. I wonder if they have moved out, or has this fact been overlooked? Anyway due to narrow towpaths and shallow canal edges we have ended up near Yelvertoft Marina now. It is a long way to walk to the shops, but on the plus side we have got good signals here!

1 comment:

Nb Duxllandyn said...

If you use the bridleway from Bridge 18 over Crack's Hill, it's just a 10 minute walk to Crick Marina. Using the tow path doubles the distance and the time.

Mike. Nb Duxllandyn