Etruria to Denham Yacht Station - September 1999.


Left Stoke-on-Trent Marina at 2pm. The first leg of the journey. Weather fair.

I have acquired some travelling companions. They are delivering two boats to Iver for brokerage, about six miles further on from my ultimate destination!

Travelled 11 miles through 13 locks to Stone.

14th Departed early after 10 miles and 6 locks arrived at Rugeley.

Shopped for food supplies that evening.

15th Another early start, trying to keep up with my friends in the hire boats. Three of them in two boats, one of me in mine, this is hard work.

After 11 miles and 3 locks, turned onto the Coventry Canal. Eleven miles and three locks later arrive at the foot of Atherstone Locks, just as it is getting dark.

16th The long haul up the flight is made harder by the first rain.

A long run on the flat is easy after that, even making the 180° turn into the Oxford Canal without a hitch.

Moor for the night at Ansty, again at dusk.

17th 23 odd miles and 4 locks to the junction with the Grand Union.

Up the scary broad locks through Braunston Tunnel, mooring at Norton (5.5 miles, 6 locks).

Amazingly I have caught my friends, spend a convivial night in the pub.

18th In the morning we try to fit all three boats into one broad lock, it is hopeless! They streak away, metaphorically.

I struggle with the deep locks at Buckby.

Six locks and Blisworth Tunnel to Stoke Bruerne.

19th Moved on to Milton Keynes. weather is foul, pass through a huge fishing match.

My parents and miscellaneous relatives have come to visit. It takes them ages to find me, but we enjoy a cup of tea together.

Spend the night at Fenny Stratford. I am accosted by two of the locals (Mick and?) who live in one of the cottages by the lock. They recognise my Mel Davis Boatbuilders shell and we chat.

20th Hard work climbing the Chilterns. Stopped at Leighton Buzzard for supplies.
21st Make it to Marsworth after 7 miles and 13 locks. Moor by the Aylesbury Arm.
22nd Got to Northchurch today.
23rd Tonight I am at Boxmoor, near Hemel Hempstead. Weather is on the up.
24th Spend the night in Cassio Park, Watford. Endless joggers flogging past.
25th If pushed I could have made it to Uxbridge. Instead I have stopped by the cheesy pub in Harefield.

Eight miles and 10 locks today.

26th Journey's End - Denham Yacht Station (offline mooring), Uxbridge. Five miles and three locks.

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