Once again we left early this morning because we wanted to get through North Grove lock (lock 71) before Monday 30th as it was having a new lock gate and would be closed till the middle of December. The first thing we noticed was it was a bit colder, so we lit the fire early. Also once again the sun was shining on us, a blessing, as we would of had to move rain or shine. We made our way slowly up through the first three locks as it was lined with winter moorings, and then we saw a familiar boat. It was Les on n.b Valerie so it was a chance to pay back that coffee we had on his boat a couple of months ago. Les was recovering from a back injury he has had and seemed to be doing very well, and is on the move again. Thanks for the company Les and we hope all the things you are doing go to plan. We then moved on through one of our favorite parts of the Grand Union, Grove Park. The sun was hot on our backs and at Hunton Bridge locks we were sun bathing on the lock gate and still found the time to do some sticking (sticks for kindling). We then got to lock 71 and it was blitzed with BW boats ready for Mondays start. Even the lock gate was ready and waiting in one of their boats. We then spotted some more wood and with the cold weather coming up we loaded the roof up. Derwent6 was very top heavy and rocking all over the place, but we couldn't resist getting it on board. At the next lock we had a small problem as we moored up too close to the lock gates and Del thought he would hold the boat, as there were no mooring posts. Al opened the paddles and they were a bit fierce. Del couldn't hold Derwent6 and it would have pulled him in, so he had to run to the back and jump on. By this time Al had closed one of the paddles and Del managed to line up for the lock. We never had time to get the fenders up and on entering the lock we lost one of them. Luckily we had a spare.
We then looked for a place to moor (a tip by Les) and it was just starting to get dark, a great time for Kingfisher watching, we spotted three, but our camera at the moment is not up to the great pic standard. We also made friends with Jack the Donkey and he was treated with a apple making Del hungry, good job we've got a lot of apples. We then had dinner and made the effort to get a satellite signal, the first time for three weeks, so we will be watching a bit of telly tonight.