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Winkwell to Berkhamsted

The next leg of our journey would take us from Winkwell to Berkhamsted, a town that we had loved when we visited it in 2012 so it was a destination that we had been looking forward to revisiting. First though there was the small matter of eight locks to negotiate our way through. All was well until we reached the last pound below the town itself, we were warned by another boater that the pound was low and to stick to the centre of the channel. This we did but with a boat descending the lock above, we had to wait for them to come through. Two boats were moored below the lock, both listing heavily towards the middle of the canal. With Sue on the bank I floated between the two boats, waiting for the lock to empty. As soon as the water rushed out of the lock, the level in the pound rose quickly and the narrowboat behind me also rose. Clearly, its lines had been secured when the pound was on the low side so as it rose the lines tightened and first the stern pin was pulled out of the ground quickly followed by the centre pin. The water current immediately pulled the boat straight across the canal, blocking passage for the boat coming down. Caxton was unaffected except that I had to wait until the boat was re-moored by the lady from the boat descending the lock whose husband sat in the chamber until he had a clear passage through. Surprisingly, the pound above the lock was at a normal height so once we were through we made good progress to the water point where we filled our tank.

With the tank filled and all toilet cassettes emptied we were ready for our stay in Berkhamsted. Amazingly we yet again found a mooring in a place where we had tied up before (Harefield, Apsley and Winkwell being the others in recent weeks) opposite Castle Wharf.

When we stopped here before, we inadvertently wandered into the private garden of the house opposite. Having tied up and got ourselves ready to walk into town, Sue reacquainted herself with the owner and local celebrity councillor, Lindy.

Our stay in Berkhamsted (Berko to the boating fraternity) will be covered in the next post.