We had a short cruising day today. We left our nice quiet spot and set off for Hockley Heath. We had four locks and two draw bridges to do and only saw one boat moored between locks 3 and 4.When we arrived at the first lock I opened one of the gates and a chap walking along the towpath opened the other one for me. I thanked him, we closed the gates behind the boat then walked to the other end at which time he produced a windlass and opened the paddle. I asked him if he was on a boat to which he replied that he was an off duty volunteer!!! He stuck with us and went ahead and set the next lock whilst I waited to close the gate after Steve.
It turns out he was originally from Massachusetts. In 1968 he came to the UK and hired a canal boat for a week and that was it. He moved here and lived on a narrowboat for 40 years. He now lives in a cottage by the canal!We stopped at a little boatyard to try to replace the tiller pin that I dropped in the river last week but they only had brass ones and everything on our boat it chrome!
We moored in Hockley Heath and walked into the village. We left the towpath through the pub car park and right opposite was a car showroom – McLaren and Rolls Royce! There were not many shops but a great little butchers – S H Mills!! - which sold pies, veg and fruit as well as meat!We got the feeling it is an affluent village judging by the cars driving up and down, even the fish & chip shop and Chinese take away here are posh!
|We have the canal all to ourselves!|
|First lock of the day.|
|Off duty volunteer!|
|We did stop hoping to find a tiller pin but when we knocked on the open door only a black cat came out to greet us!|
|The first draw bridge|
|The volunteers told me to let Steve do this one as it was tough - I think he needs a lie down now!|
|No boats for miles and then miles of boats!|
|When I took this photo I thought it was a horse this side and a soldier and shield the other?? it was only when I downloaded it that I realised it was a dog - I guess I'll never know what the other bench really was!|
|Little boat yard.|
|Bird of prey.|
|The sun is a bit bright to get a good photo.|