Hemel Hempstead to Croxley Green (Watford)

Wednesday 29th September 2010


Weather – dull, cloudy but mild and dry. Day 18


We set our kayakers the easiest day for the whole trip today following yesterdays marathon. 6 miles only – in part due to 11 locks on this stretch but also

we were determined to get a little ahead of schedule to be sure of a fixed time of arrival on Friday.


We started out with Pisces being grounded – the pound we stopped in was leaking slowly throughout the night and with a draft of more than 3ft she does need good water. A bit of push and shove sorted her out and we were on our way for the steady run down through Kings Langley and Abbots Langley towards Cassiobury, north of Watford.


Nice gentle cruising but interspersed with some heavy lock gates! I spent most of the time on telephone dealing with plans for the finale of the trip with Justin’s Sister and talking to my colleagues back in the office about business matters – so the Hillingdon Crew did most of the work.


Most of this stretch is through wooded areas and every so often you can glimpse nice woodland walks with paved areas. Cassiobury Park is off to the East of the Canal and is now a very fine looking Golf Club. This land originally belonged to the Earls of Essex and when the Grand Union was being built the Earl at the time insisted that it was built with bends in to make it look like a natural river. He also insisted that the one bridged needed was classic in design to match the rest of his gardens and estate. The bridge is therefore built with light stone blocks with a balustrade style top wall – and very attractive too!


We moored up by 1.30pm at the area known as Two Bridges at Croxley Green a suburb of Watford. This was partly because it gave me an opportunity to use a mains feed to the boat as Bobs (from the Hillingdon Crew) son lives right next to the canal, and partly because we needed to be handy for a visit by BUPA (our last) with Justin’s Feed (TPN) in the morning. They are sending a photographer to record this momentous moment for their house magazine which has over 50,000 readers and I will get to meet Irene from BUPA who I have been having a telephone relationship with for the past three weeks sorting out the logistics.


By using a mains feed I could take power and stress away from my electrical system which has been at full pelt for nearly three weeks and is pretty much shot every morning due to the extra fridge storage we added at the start.


The early finish meant I could catch a bus into Watford where I wandered around trying to buy trainers. Meal at night at a very average Harvester Pub at the junction with the canal – poor attitude from the management and quite frankly pretty average food and presentation. Still I dont suppose we can expect high standards evry night!

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