The scorching weather and hard physical effort heading uphill through lock after lock hadn’t done a great deal for the clean clothes department, not to mention the bed linen department: a major laundry session was called for. There appeared to be a small-ish marina/waterside development called Apsley Marina run by British Waterways Marinas Ltd on the south-east outskirts of Hemel Hempstead. Apparently managed by another BWML marina south of Uxbridge, we weren’t hopeful, particularly when ringing the telephone number on the website evoked “Oh, we haven’t managed that place for six months…” and when told about the duff website information said “Oh, that’s probably why we keep getting calls…” (They’ve finally corrected the site).
A phone call to the real management (somewhere in darkest Bedfordshire), and on asking if they could manage overnight moorings for a 58ft Narrowboat with an electric hook-up, the lady said “Sure, no problem. Berth 57 will do you, and Dave the warden will be on duty at 14:00 – he’ll arrange the electrics for you”, and that was it. No third degree, inside leg measurements, email harvesting or anything. Very civilised.
Arriving about noon, we managed to get the boat in through the lift bridge with a BWB Key (every boat should have several), found berth 57 suitably vacant and (bonus!) a card key electric hook-up point with a significant amount of credit still left from the previous occupant. Didn’t look as though our neighbours had been around for a while though.
Dave the Warden not immediately required, washing machine fired up, and a speedy retirement to Woody’s most excellent vegetarian café (already highly recommended by a passer by at the previous lock) for lunch. All of 30 yards from the boat, they had some nice bushes for the Captain too. Result!