So with our first lock, Waltham Town lock, full and another narrow boater also setting off at the same time as us, we shared the lock. The facilities were literally round the corner below the lock and both of us stopped to empty loo's. We had to water up as well and they left a good while before us. We nearly caught them up at the next lock and that, mind you, was a good half an hour later but they had already left and could be seen slowly making some headway. Good grieve, thought I, they must be traveling at snails pace. Anyway with us having to wait while the lock filled, another boat could be seen coming towards us in the distance and so we waited for them to arrive. Now this is where it goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. This boater was in a tearing hurry and I made the unfortunate mistake of allowing them out first. Well they took off like a bat out of hell with engine screaming and bow waves crashing into the side. Now we don't hang around on a river doing about 4mph comfortably at about 1400 revs and for me to try and keep up with him I had to crank the speed up to over 1600 revs and that's even with our bigger prop! Goodness knows how many revs he was pushing! In the end we let him go ahead fully expecting him to meet up with the slow boat in front. In fact he didn't catch them but we caught up with Mr speedy while they were filling the next lock. This continued for another 2 locks, him screaming out of the lock with full revs and us just doing our own thing poodling on behind. Eventually the slow boat came in sight but now he had teamed up with another slow boat. So for the last 2 locks of the day mister speedy had to slow down to about 3mph which pee'd him off no end. Eventually the two slow boats pulled over to let him past but by now the sky was looking ominous, we had traveled for over 5 hours and so decided to stop by Hackney Marsh for the night. The rain duly arrived and the wind picked up alarmingly so I'm very glad we made the right decision.
|Canary Wharf in the distance and our son Colin workplace.|