Sunday 8 July

A duck caused us a disturbed night’s sleep with its constant quacking and only went quiet when it was our turn to get up.

We still had 15 locks to do today but the bike stayed on board as we decided to take it slightly slower.

I set off with the boat while Storm and Max walked ahead to set the first five locks and they continued walking until  the tap at the top of Casio Bridge Lock.

As we filled up with water we put our “For Sale” signs on the boat.  These have  attracted quite a bit of attention already and have  been photographed so that our contact details can be passed on to potential interested parties!  Here’s hoping we get some serious enquiries.

At Cassiobury Park we heard our first cockatiels – their squawking reminding us of our trip to Barcelona last year, as they occupy the parks there too.

We had three different lock buddies today; two of whom have suggested that we’ll have no trouble selling the boat and advised us not to polish it if we wish to sell it in London.  In this heat there’s no fear of that!   The first was a couple just heading down 3 locks to use the facilities in Rickmansworth.  We were heading there too with our waste.  The rubbish skip took some finding as it was at the end of the little arm beside the main canal.

After Rickmansworth we met up with a young girl who’d only bought her boat three weeks ago and was moving it to the Lee & Stort where she planned to live aboard.  Her lone working was impressive after just three weeks.  Today she was trying bow hauling which she found easier than constantly mooring up to open/close paddles/lockgates.

The Grand Union runs through the Colne Valley once you leave Rickmansworth and for four miles to the west of the canal are lakes that are barely visible from the canal.  The hedge could do with some windows cutting in it so that you can appreciate the beauty of the lakes beyond.

We shared Cowley Lock with a couple who were ‘relaxed’ and a little confused.  They were heading for Tesco at Bulls Bridge but they needed to stop first at ‘The Woolpack’.  I hope they remembered that Tesco closes somewhat earlier on a Sunday!

We turned onto the Paddington Arm and moored up amongst other boats after three miles at Willow Tree Open Space.

Cold showers and cold beers were enjoyed.

(Distance today: 19.25 miles and 15 locks).

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