Friday, 20 February 2015

Cruise to Rickmansworth

Taking advantage of the good weather we started cruising south towards Rickmansworth.  We’d scarcely left the mooring when two CRT employees appeared from behind us with one carrying a PDT (portable data terminal). We assumed they were enforcement officers checking the moored boats, however they didn’t appear to be all that interested in collecting boat license data.

We caught up with them at Cassiobury Top Lock and Jan asked what they were doing.  It transpired they were conducting a check/audit of the canal infrastructure.  That is when we realised they had been examining sluices, towpath condition, locks, weirs, etc. Apparently they were going to be checking all the way to Rickhamstead.

It’s good to know CRT checks the condition of the canal infrastructure and this should enable the prioritising of maintenance work and early intervention.  But I did wonder why they were not also checking boats?  By not doing this there will be additional costs in having another CRT employee walk the same length of canal.  The current CRT culture appears to be too “compartmentalised!”  My initial impression is there are cost savings to be achieved.

We stopped to top up the water tank above Cassio Bridge Lock and then Jan gave two pre-schoolers and the grandparents a demonstration on lock work.  Jan was rather amused with the actions of the young girl who was struggling to push open one of the gates when the lock was half full.  Her grandfather offered to open one of the lower lock gates only to discover they are very heavy!

From this point onwards the canal appeared to be in a semi rural setting with a scattering of old boats moored on the offside.  Most of them had a beaten path leading away from the mooring through the scrub.  After checking the map I noted this area is designated ‘Common Moor’.  My assumption is these boats are not on official end of garden moorings.

We’ve also started to notice an increase in the number of boats either not displaying a licence or the displayed license is expired. It will be interesting to observe whether this situation becomes worse as we get closer to London.

After Lot Mead Lock there was a row of houseboats moored on the offside.  It’s been a long time since we saw houseboats.  Actually it might be the first time.  But no!  I recall there were a few at the bottom end of the Erewash Canal.

The following boat was on the towpath side.  Would this be classified as a houseboat?

Or is it a “cottage boat”?


Pip and Mick said...

We thought the house/cottage boat was an ark!

Tom and Jan said...

I guess this means you saw the inhabitants (two by two)

Elly and Mick said...

We liked Rickmansworth. Best supermarket mooring! I loved that trip into London.... keep the photos coming. :)
Where are you heading from London?

Tom and Jan said...

We're just taking it slowly Elly. All of summer to cover the south this year.