Cruising: Rickmansworth to Harefield

This was a beautiful winter’s day, and there were few other boats moving, so it made for a very pleasant day on the water.

That said, this was only a few days after the snow and practically the first thing that happened after I started prepping the boat to move was that I slipped on some ice.

I’d climbed up onto the roof to remove the chimney (necessary before cruising if there’s any bridges en-route), and after I took my first step, my feet fell out from under me, and I landed flat on my back.

Thankfully I remained on the roof, and didn’t fall into the water, or onto the towpath, but this was a reminder to be careful.

For this cruise I tried to create a time-lapse video by taking a photo every 10 seconds from the bow, which hopefully you can see below.

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There were only a few locks on the route, and as you can see on the video, one of them was very shallow, only about 7 feet / 2 metres, but it still takes almost as long as a deeper lock to set, operate and close afterwards.

Due to the ice and the relatively short journey, I set a very slow pace, helped some other boaters at locks, stopped to fill my water tank, and generally had a quiet sunny day (I later found out I’d sunburned my face, in the middle of December!).

The highlight of this part of the journey for me was the lakes on either side of the canal on this stretch of this, and the plentiful bird life (saw some kingfishers but wasn’t able to get a photo).

This stretch has one of the occasional odd landmarks you see along the canals, which is a giant monkey hanging from the old Harefield Limeworks building.

If it can be this nice in winter, summer’s going to be lovely!