You know that nursery rhyme that goes “..and the little one says, roll over” – that is exactly how it can feel on a canal boat when four of you are squeezed into a 6’4” wide 57’ long narrowboat. For us four though, we are a well oiled machine. We were up by 7.30am with the guest bed reconverted to the dinner table and everything stacked away and breakfast consumed before Colin and Mary and their daughter Elisa dropped in for a farewell cuppa.
The cuppa turned into two hours as narrowboaters always have a lot to talk about. With Wolfgangs persistence he managed to get the seven of us and Toque in the photo before we set off.
Goodness knows when this group will get together again as we have Canada, Australia and Germany involved in this lot. So after all our adieus we got onto the cut at 10.30am.
One last task though, was to change the flags over and convert the duck from Calgary to Bremen.
Wolfgang had the pleasure of turning over the engine and inhaling that sweet smell of diesel that he has been missing for the last two months. We kindly handed the tiller over to the guys whilst we went downstairs and did some tidying up. We headed off back down the Grand Union Canal towards London again. Our first challenge was the Buckby broad locks of which there are seven.
On our way down the locks we dropped into the beautiful Anchor Cottage canal shop where the owner does all the hand painting of Buckby cans, tables and all canal related artifacts. We were after a map which encompasses the whole canal system as this will be our centre piece in our own art/momento creation of our times on the canals.
Initially it was thought that one of the canal boats was broken down, but a 15 year veteran of the canals had convinced the two 70+ year old novice chaps on their boat, that she could show them a quicker way to get up the locks when you only have three people and two boats. One of the older gentlemen was immediately enamoured and was busy telling Di how he was ready for a new girlfriend and thinks he found one. Di hoped he was prepared as the lady veteran appeared to be someone who took no prisoners.
There were all hands on deck for the locks and like seasoned boatmen on a “fly boat” (Fedex Express in today’s terms) we flew down the flight at a great rate of knots. As the saying goes “many hands make light work” which meant we could afford the time to pull up and have a leisurely lunch before heading further down the cut.
We cruised a few more hours and then moored up in a lovely spot in the country.
Having fed the dog…..
it was put on guard duty.
Alas, even on canal boats, the electronics take over👎.