We went back to the boat on Friday to finally complete our Thames Ring journey. The journey to the boat was a amazingly quick. We got a lift to Milton Keynes station from our friends Shirley & Geoff Emmins and caught a semi-fast train to Berkhamsted. We arrived at the boat a mere 50 minutes door to door.

New signs at Berkhamsted - by Phil Speight

The weather was warm and sunny but rain was forecast. We picked up provisions and water in the town. In the park by the station a pair of geese were raising three goslings.

Geese at Berkhamsted

We were joined by NB Summertime at the first Gas Lock. They stayed with us to the summit at Cowroast. At Northchurch Maggie had a spill, tripping over a concrete slab. I looked over to see her flying through the air. She appears to have hurt her wrist after falling onto it. It has restricted her locking skills but I may not replace her as crew quite yet. Actually, her hand has swelled up impressively and applications of ice and ibruprofen have only just kept it under control. She tells me that she is being brave and I believe her.

It began to rain intermittently but heavily. Just below Dudswell the heavens opened! We finally made the summit very wet and miserable but decided that it was better to continue to Bulborne. Along the Tring cutting I saw a mink making its way along the towpath and disappearing into the undergrowth. Looking back I saw it again, this time it went into the water.

Tring cutting

We finally moored up by the former BW depot at Bulborne and lit the fire for the first time for a while.