Lady Capels Bridge to Sainsburys, Apsley
Not so easy getting up at 4.30am this morning, but we managed it. As we were surrounded by boats this morning Mick waited to start the engine until we had pushed out from the bank. 17C this morning, but still in the 20’s inside Oleanna. Convection fog was rolling off the fields onto the cut as the sun rose. Very pretty. The hands adjacent to Lady Capels Lock looked like they were stretching upwards from the earth to the sun. Here we saw our first walker shortly after 5am, she was obviously out for a pre-work walk.
As we neared North Grove Lock there was a chap in jogging bottom shorts and a t-shirt strolling along the towpath smoking. He was taking his time and spending quite a bit of time looking away from the canal. This wouldn’t have been odd if there was a view, but it was very thickly overgrown. Neither would it have been odd if he was looking for a dog or cat, I spend hours of my life doing just that looking for Tilly. A short way below the lock NB Lay Zee Daze was moored up and with the heat they had the front doors wide open and the rear hatch was open too. Most boats we’d passed this morning were quite well open, many with the glazing from their windows removed. The chap slowed down even more as he passed the narrowboat, we kept watching him, quite blatantly.
The lock was full so that gave us time to keep an eye on him, still slowly moving our way. Once Oleanna was in the lock and paddles opened he appeared at the bottom gates, now his attention seemed to be the lock side cottage with it’s windows also open. Was he a chancer ready to see what he could pick up and then make a run for it? Who knows, he may just have been out for a stroll. The cottage was pretty in the morning light and the abundance of roses and clematis on the wall nearby needed to have it’s picture taken. So I took some photos, and included a few of the chap whilst I was at it. Strangely enough he soon moved on towards Kings Langley! He wasn’t taking his time anymore. As we left the lock we could see him up towards the M25 bridge running. We both agreed that sometimes somethings just don’t feel right and this chap at 6.20am certainly didn’t feel right.
Under the M25 and we had left London behind, we’d need permission to return now! From here on we are back into the land where the West Coast Main Line accompanies the canal and trains were speeding their way too and fro. A heron took advantage of lock filling, standing above and watching fish getting dragged towards the paddles. He didn’t catch anything though. At Kings Langley Lock the swans we’d seen sitting on eggs a month ago now have two cygnets that they brought for us to see. Well that’s what we thought until they swam into the lock as I opened the gate. This left me with only one option and that was to not fully close the gates so that they’d be able to get out.
At Nash Mills lock I just beat another boat to the half filled lock and had just started to empty it as they came right up to the gates. It looked like they weren’t expecting anyone to be moving so early, but to us it was late we’d been going for three hours already! They had just come from the Sainsburys mooring so hopefully it would still be free and be in shade.
Plenty of boats were moored up under the trees where we’d moored and watched a Kingfisher fish a couple of years ago. Towards the end of the line was a familiar sight, yet it wasn’t. Here was the boatcar or is it a carboat. Since we headed south it has had a coat of paint making all the filler and fibreglass mould in together. I think it looks quite good even if a bit odd. I wonder what colour it will end up being as this seemed like it was an undercoat.
We rounded the bend and the Sainsburys mooring was free and just about in shade. Moored up in pole position before 9am.
First was a trip to look at Bunnings Warehouse, now open. What a lot of stock! Just about any make and model of power tool was on display. I got carried away picking up various painting supplies that would come in handy and Mick restrained himself and only picked up one spanner for the yellow water tank outlet. We priced up a scaff plank so that we could compare them with B&Q later. Then it was time to do a big shop at Sainsburys as you can get a trolley back to the mooring. What a wonderful place it must be to work in at the moment, wonderfully cool.
This afternoon we’ve heard the sad news that Allan Cazaly the cratch repair man has passed away. He expertly and quickly repaired Lillians covers for us twice, the last time was earlier this year. What a lovely gentle man he was, his family and the cut will miss him.
9 locks, 4.43 miles, 5am push off, 0 sharing, 1 rum ‘un, 2 many boats fully open, 4hrs cruising, 40 more photos, 1 submerged canoe, £40 saving, £36 painting stuff, 0 plank at B&Q, 4 boxes wine, 1 hot boat bound cat, 27C which could be a whole lot worse.