Wednesday brought the promised rain, starting in the early morning and carrying on incessantly until after 9pm!
Had we been at home, surrounded by bricks and mortar, this probably wouldn’t have mattered; we would have stayed in and amused ourselves with the occasional glance at the weather outside. Our boat has everything that our home has, yet these sort of days seem to be oppressive, but why? The only explanation that I can offer is that a boat is supposed to move and when it isn’t moving we are exploring.
On this occasion we were moored near King’s Langley railway station and we had thought of travelling to London for the day. The weather there wouldn’t be much better but we wouldn’t have to be outside all of the time so it might be worth our while. Fifteen minutes before we had planned to set off for the station, the heavens opened and the light rain turned to a deluge. We abandoned our plan and settled in for the day. As Sue prepared lunch, the monsoon eased off so as we ate we decided to take the train to Watford and have a wander around the shopping centre. Just as we prepared to go, the monsoon returned so plan ‘B’ was scuppered too.
In the end, with the exception of a quick check of the mooring lines, we stayed indoors all day listening to and watching the rain falling. Perhaps the cabin fever is caused by the triumph of hope over experience? Who knows, maybe next time we should just travel or explore in the rain to allay the onset of cabin fever but maybe it would be better to just accept that we will be stuck indoors for the day.
When we set off on our adventure back in May we believed that, unlike all of our holidays and short breaks over the years, we wouldn’t have to factor the weather into our travel plans. That isn’t entirely true but it does mean that we don’t have to travel in the rain or have to have long days to compensate for days lost to really bad weather. Wednesday was forecast to bring heavy rain all day so we decided to move a bit further on Tuesday and then sit out the storm.
It was 8.30 when we set off and after making slow progress past the long line of moored boats, we worked up through the first lock and took on water.
Cassiobury park looked quite gloomy, the trees are still in full leaf but it was the leaden coloured sky which made everything look dull.
We were caught up at the next lock by nb Myra-D so when we reached the next lock after that, we waited for them to catch us up again and we worked the next three locks with them. As we left Lady Capel’s lock, Myra-D encountered a problem that they thought would involve a visit to the weedhatch. We carried on, expecting them to catch us up at the Hunton Bridge locks half a mile further on. Sue prepped the lower lock and while I manoeuvred into position, she set the upper lock too. Then we waited but after a while had to come to the conclusion that our lock buddies had encountered a bigger problem than they had anticipated, so we carried on.
Eventually we reached the bridge which carries the M25 over the canal and railway and passed under it, we had first entered the concrete motorway ring which sits around London when we passed under the road between Runnymede and Staines just over a month ago as we made our way down the Thames. Shortly after passing under the motorway, we reached Kings Langley where we found a mooring below the village lock. The pound was a little low and as a result we struggled to get the stern close to the bank but with a bit of rocking and the use of the fat fenders, we were in and secure. Having travelled for four hours and worked through nine locks, we decided to get showered and go to the local pub for lunch, something that we had done when we passed this way five years ago. As before, lunch was very good at The Rose & Crown and it was four o’clock when we arrived back at our boat. A few minutes later and we could hear a boat engine so we looked out to see nb Myra-D lashed to another narrowboat with only the other boat’s engine running. It turned out that the problem that they had was a broken cable but they had arranged for one to be delivered to them the following day. Maybe we’ll see them again on our travels and find out the whole story.