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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Sunday, 25 October 2009

A narrowboat trip up the Grand Union Canal

Grebe Canal Cruises - Princess of the ChilternsOne of the adventures on which we'd planned to go during the summer was a trip up the nearby Grand Union Canal on a narrowboat. It was fortunate that we were able to book ourselves on a Grebe Canal Cruise (www.grebecanalcruises.co.uk) near Pitstone on the last Sunday of its seasonal run. That said, when we boarded the Princess Of The Chilterns, it was tipping it down with rain, but fortunately, the passenger area of the boat was covered, so it was a dry, comfortable trip - and as luck would have it, once we had set off, the rain relented and the sun came out!

The hour-and-a-half journey traversed two pairs of locks, before turrning about and returning, with a commentary from the driver (pilot?) as his colleagues took charge of opening and closing the gates - quite a physically demanding job, although they were clearly far more adept at it than we could have been. Who knows what would have happened if they'd asked for passengers to volunteer? I'm pretty sure we didn't cover much of a distance - the boat went at a fairly pedestrian speed, and it's fairly clear that navigating the canal all the way up to Birmingham would be almost as much effort as walking!

We all had a good time, I think, in the company of Beth's folks and brother. Had it been a warmer day, I think we might have been more bothered by waterside insects, and being under a roof in summer might be a little restricting, so I think we went at just the right time. Save for some large fish at the wharfside, a few ducks, swans and a solitary moorhen, we didn't really see much wildlife, but that's only a trivial gripe to what was otherwise a Sunday afternoon well spent messing about on the river (sort of!)

Lenni took on photography duties about halfway through the trip, and the gallery has a selection of the photos we took. I've put a few of her finer works below - click them to see the large versions.

A train seen from the canal boat (taken by Lenni)rope on the deck (taken by Lenni)Louise the lonely canal boat (taken by Lenni)a bridge over the canal (taken by Lenni)

Posted by james at October 25, 2009 9:57 PM

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