Saturday, 9 August 2014

A Big Fish Tale - a 20Lb+ Carp - 9th August

Leaving Denham the canal takes a 1.5 mile long straight as it follows the Colne valley passing large lakes on either side. Just before Widewater Lock there is a boatyard and marina situated in one of the lakes the waters of which break out into the canal in several places making it look as though you could enter through the gaps.
1  Long Straight
I could not resist including these two photos of a bungalow with a crocodile in the front garden, Its not real however. 
2 Croc
The river now joins the canal and as we have had a lot of rain last night there was quite a flow making entering the lock a little tricky. Here you can see in the top right hand picture how the bow of Autumn Years in pushed over by the force of the water flow. Some lovely houses adjoin the river/canal with their own moorings at the bottom of their gardens.
3 River weirs
Again there are some interesting houses along our route including these old farm building and a glass house which hides nothing from the passing boater.
4 Houses
Whilst on the river section we came upon this fisherman who had caught a gigantic Carp and was just having it photographed for his records. He said it weighed over 20lbs. but it looked much heavier.
5 Carp 20lb
At Stockers Lock there are two lots of old Waterways Tools displayed in the garden of the Lock Cottage. At the top of the bottom picture is a mould to which the depth of the canal must be dredged but can you read it backwards. “Foot of Wall 6ft 0in below WL”
6 Stockers Lock Tools
Just before Batchworth Lock is a Tesco at Frogmore Wharf. Very handy for the boater as it has its own wharf where you can literally walk off you boat into the store. Great if you buy your heavy goods here as you don’t have to carry them far. On the end wall of Tesco is a sample of Ricky Art, from the people of Rickmansworth.7 Tesco Frogmore Wharf
At Batchworth there are two locks so be sure to take the right hand lock as the other leads you into the river Chess which is navigable for a very short distance. At the side of the lock is the only UK Working Model of the Union Canal. The Chess lock is nicely situated and has some lovely picnic tables along its length.
8 Two Locks Model GU
We soon passed by Cassio Park which was hidden behind the bordering trees, but we could hear the sound of music and voices so we assumed a fete or similar event was going on. Above Cassio Park Locks we passed by Grove Mill, a water mill where the mill stream doubles as a private canal arm. The very narrow Grove Bridge is controlled by traffic lights for vehicles passing over it into the Grove Golf Club and Hotel, and at night it is light up with LED lighting, as are several of the large trees.
9 Grove Mill and Bridge
The golf course looks very well manicured and has a few holes with water on them, but people seem to think that it is safe to picnic on the tees. They must have held a wedding at the club house as there was a loud honking noise as this old car bedecked in white ribbon came over the bridge.
We are now moored up in the open awaiting the arrival of the remnants of Hurricane Bertha to do its worst.
9a Grove GC

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