24 locks and 9 miles today. The day was dominated by the lack of water in the canal. The weather forecast was not very good, so we made our usual early start to get going before the expected rain. The problem wasn’t too much water on our heads, it was not enough under the boat. As we came up to the middle Aspley lock there was a boat on the water point above the lock. They had already prepared the lock for them, though they weren’t yet ready. We waited. When they were ready the water level was so low that they were stuck on the bottom. They eventually got free. We entered the lock and filled it, which of course lowered the level in the pound above even more. We got through, but later at Bottom side lock we met two more boats who were stuck on the due to low levels. Someone went up ahead to let some more water down. This situation continued for the next six locks. It wasn’t helped by a rather opinionated woman on a boat behind us who wasn’t prepared to cooperate regarding the lack of water problem. As we were ascending Boxmoor top lock she insisted on opening a bottom paddle to “let some water down so they can get through”. I pointed out that if she waited until we exited the lock then she could have a whole lock full, but no she had to have the water NOW. We had met her earlier on the Thames where she was telling the lock keepers which order they should let the boats out of the lock. The expected bad weather didn’t materialise, so we pressed on to moor up at about 4 o’clock above Cowroast lock on the summit level. In fact the water improved enough for us to have a barbecue.
|Heddi feeding a swan with last night’s left over rice|