Ten Bob Note  
 

Monday 29th October 2007

Location: Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, Grand Union

Today: 2 miles, 3 locks. Total distance: 850 miles.  Total locks: 543

Lovely sunny day. Good t-mobile 3g reception here.

Spent the last three nights at Kings Langley. Weather has been a bit on the grey and wet side.

Found out on Friday evening that lock 60 just north of Hemel Hempstead has been closed for repairs to one of the gates. Apparently they are having to make a new gate. For us im means hovering around Hemel until the lock re-opens.

The further bad news for us is that there is scheduled winter maintenance planned to start at Shuckburough on 5th November. If we don’t get past Shuckburough before they de-water the canal for maintenance, we won’t be getting to Braunston this side of Christmas. If it hadn’t been for the unscheduled repairs to lock 60, we would have been well past Shuckborough before the winter stoppages started.

I phoned British Waterways today as they were closed over the weekend. The latest news is that the new gate should be fitted on Monday 5th November and that due to delays with contractors, they ‘probably’ won’t be de-watering Shuckburough until 12th November. If this is the case, we may be able to make it past Shuckbuough by 12th but it will be a hard push as there is something like 37 lock over 23 miles that we would need to cover. BW advised us to check for updates later in the week. If we don’t get past Shuckburgh, we will be spending the next 2 months around this area which is not really a big problem as we can visit Aylesbury and other places close by.

We spent around 15 years living in Welwyn Garden City which is not too far from here so we know the area reasonably well.

Woke up to a lovely bright and sunny day which is very welcome after the grey damp days we have been having.

Pulled the pins around 08:00 and headed up to the southern side of Hemel to take on water and visit Sainsburys as it is right beside the canal. Also had a wander around Argos, Homebase and Comet as they are all beside Sainsburys. Have been tempted to buy a petrol chain saw for cutting up logs but can not make up my mind. A reasonable saw will cost around £120 and we can buy a lot of bags of coal for that sort of money. It is nice to burn logs though as they give off a lot more heat and are nice to look at. Will continue to think it over. The other downside with having a chain saw is having to carry petrol on the boat – something we have so far managed to avoid. I don’t fancy an electric chain saw as the last one I used I managed to burn the motor out. I had also thought of just buying a bow saw but in recent years I have been having problems with joint pains in elbows and fingers so don’t want to do any more damage by sawing logs by hand. UPDATE: Just been reading through an old thread on the canal world forum about chain saws and have decided to stay away from them!! May go for a good bow saw though??

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Material Copyright © 2007 Ernie Williams
This page last modified on: 23 April, 2014 3:57 PM