Thursday, 21 May 2009

Watford Staircase - Or how to lose a day without trying

Captains Log

Canal Date 21st May 2009

Travels 16 miles

7 locks

2 long tunnels

1 very congested staircase flight

Current Location Crick Show Ground

SP52400 – 71090

Yesterday we set off at a leisurely 11.30 the journey was most pleasant with excellent scenery in all directions. The locks are wide today and we shared them with another craft also going to the Crick Show.

We stopped at Braunston Junction to top up the water tank and carried on towards Norton Junction where the Grand Union Main Line branches off to the Grand Union Leicester Section. We moored at this point and to our total amazement there was a canal side pub just waiting to serve us food. So we had a beer or two and a meal. Mine was fine but Pam had a Steak & Kidney Pudding. The suit pastry was rock hard and totally inedible, the contents of the pudding was fine, just the rock hard case. (It did say home cooked food but I expected better than our home cooked food!)

After a good nights sleep we set off on our final leg of our first world cruise the Chrick Show. Not far to go today, just 5 miles a staircase flight and a tunnel. 2 ½ hours max.

We arrived at Watford Locks at 11.20, there was a bit of a queue! It took us about 20 minutes to get through the staircase. It’s a bit of a shame that we had to wait over 3 ½ hours before we could go through them! The lock keeper said that this was quite normal traffic levels for any weekend and very quiet for the Crick week. And I thought that I had seen the last of traffic jams when I gave up commuting on the M5 every day. It just shows how wrong you can be.

We eventually arrived at our allotted mooring spot at 4.45 a very long short days cruising.

The paperwork clearly stated that you can not arrive at your mooring point before 8.00 on Friday morning. We arrived at 5.00 on Thursday afternoon to find that we are one of the last to arrive.

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