The Grove

At last, a change of scene! The great trek north has started, albeit in a very miniscule way. We want to move north of Nash Mills Locks before they close for repairs on Monday so today we set off with a full complement of Ship’s Captain Ralph and his personal bodyguard, Big Daddy. Ralph had propelled himself down the hill at great speed on his scooter.

It was a lovely sunny day, perfect for moving along. We ascended the Cassio and Ironbridge Locks and then noticed another boat pulling in at the bottom of the lock. (We had passed them just after Cassio Lock and for some reason they hadn’t yelled “Hang on a minute we’re coming” as we would have done). Anyway we said we would open the first of the Cassiobury Locks and wait for them. And so we did: wait and wait and wait. The Captain wandered round with his bodyguard inspecting the area and at long last, long after a passerby proceeding at snail’s pace said that he had passed them leaving Ironbridge Lock ten minutes ago, they came into sight, just as the Ship’s Captain had a nasty fall on his knees which made him somewhat unhappy. As we had the bikes on the rack at the stern we had prudently closed one of the lock gates which completely threw the other steerer and two or three runs at the entrance to the lock were needed before they inched in. Actually they were two very nice girls and the boat owner apologised and said she hadn’t moved for a long time and was out of practice. The Ship’s Captain was told it was a pirate ship but he wasn’t quite recovered from his fall and decided that when he isn’t a pirate himself he is, quite rightly, frightened of them, so he skulked in the engine room and we had to proceed leaderless. I went ahead to open the second of the Cassiobury locks and found the top gates open and two enormous logs floating in the lock. I tried to haul them out but they were far too heavy and in the end I emptied the lock and hoped to get away with it. When I opened the gates one of the logs floated out but the other was behind the gate on my side. The other boat came in first on the far side and she was thrown by me asking her to move over to the other side behind the partially closed gate. I got her to throw me her centre line which I was somewhat surprised to discover was attached, with a dodgy knot on the other side of the boat. I managed to pull her over without dislodging the bike and other things the rope was entangled with and it all went more smoothly than I had feared.

There was a lovely mooring free below The Grove and we were ready for a full English with all the works. Captain Ralph managed to eat more than his weight in sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans, washed down with cake, and watched the very expensive cars going up to The Grove. Big Daddy was very keen on those as well. As is the way in this country it poured with rain as we left to walk back with them to Ironbridge Lock, and then the Captain scootered off at speed through the park, his bodyguard in hot pursuit.

PIC 3198 Iron bridge Lock

Iron bridge Lock

Grand Union

Cassio Lock

The Grove Bridge

Today we did 1.73 Miles and 4 Locks

Statistics so far:-

2148.94 Miles, 1220 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels

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