Monday 16th May
John and I mutually agreed to slip the mooring at 09.30 and we proceeded up the Hemel Hempstead locks, stopping for water and Sainsbury’s. I was invited into North Star for coffee and croissants, which was John and Hazel’s breakfast and my lunch, although we did stop for lunch again further on. Hazel opened Winkwell Swing Bridge and I offered to buy the drinks at The Three Horseshoes. We made no errors going through the bridge and mooring up, which was a good thing as there were gongoozlers galore outside the pub. I had a brief word with Richard on the fuel boat Towcester about young Andrew Haysom, one of the NBT crew, who had cruised with them earlier. Richard had nothing but praise for his young crewman and admired his enthusiasm.
Hyperion moored at Apsley.
Eventually, we reached Berkhamsted (Berko in the old boaters parlance) after coping with two recalcitrant top lock gates on the last two locks that refused to stay closed. By this time I had had enough and went off to The Rising Sun (The Riser) for a pint, but as I was offered a 50p discount after showing my CAMRA card, I had yet another one. It had been quite a long day.
Building workers suspended.
Tuesday 17th May.
Another very chilly night but it warmed up later in the day, so I decided to touch up my paintwork where it had been grazed by locks and my careless locking. It was also the opportunity to make a good repair to the alternator connection with a proper terminal. John was eager to have more cheap beer after midday, so we paid The Riser another visit and had good conversation with the landlord about different alcoholic drinks that he could offer, some being unbelievable in price. There was an extremely wide choice in spirits available.
Shortly afterwards John and Hazel pulled the pins and cruised on further north. I hope to meet up with them again, not only to work the locks, but they were so friendly and easy to talk to.
I am now waiting here for Sue and Vic on nb No Problem, http://noproblem.org.uk/blog/ who are expected tomorrow. I have not seen them for at least two years and probably longer, so it will be good to catch up and hear more exciting news about their new wide beam boat being built at this moment.