Friday, 26 July 2013

Aussies, Aussies everywhere!

It has been something of a day of two halves. As we had moored for the night naughtily against a CRT work boat, we thought it would be judicious to move on early. Turns out we were right to do so because another boat moored just ahead of us had a rude awakening when the chaps came for the boat!

Anyhow, when I said early, I really did not mean to get up before dawn, was so hot during the evening that we had left the Houdini's open.

My slumber at 0400 was disturbed by what could only be described as the sound of a waterfall....

The still sleeping brain tried to compute the sound with our location and situation, then as I came around the memory that we had left the Houdini hatches open surfaced.

The rain was torrential and was hammering on the roof. I shot up and closed all three hatches. Then of course I was wide awake and it was still persisting down! It was a thunder storm of massive proportions, without the thunder!

Anyway, we were off by 0745 and chugged out past some really nice moorings just after the railway and on the approach to the first lock. After being on the rivers for so long it was strange to be back on the canal. We ascended the first lock and I dropped Ali off short of the second, warning her of a cyclist travelling at speed down the towpath. He passed us at speed and then I heard a strangled cry, Turning I saw said cyclist picking himself up. It appears that a small tree had fallen across the  towpath, and he collided with it. Sabotage?

When our course met the river Brent, the water became decidedly murky and pongy. Whether this is normal or due to the overnight downpour I know not. A lot more plastic in the water as well. By the start of the Hanwell flight, we were joined by NB Wigtwizzle. This was owned by an Aussie couple who do 6 months each year on their boat and moor at Crick. The ascent was far easier with two boats and two locking.

Two cormorants sat fishing 

 Hanwell Asylum

we saw lots of inivitive nests today
By lunch time we had arrived at Bulls Bridge and there outside of Tesco we spied Caxton aka The Manley Ferry. More Aussies! No sign of Elaine and Paul but the dog's were home so we knew they could not be far. We brested up and as doing spotted the pair with a shopping trolley heading back to the boat. We nattered with them and other boaters for an hour or two and shared a beer.So nice to see you again.
Bloggers galore!
Paul & Elaine & Bombo & Sammy (NB Caxton (Manley Ferry blog) Les & Jaq from NB Valerie, sorry I missed the other chaps name & John

Denham Deep lock (11' 1")

Passing over the river

We now began our exit from the environs of Greater London. It is certainly canal wise, not as dirty as some city's we have visited although I did have to clear a collection of plastic bags from the prop. At Cowley Peachey junction we stopped to try to find N.B. No Problem. No sign, so we moved on to the lock where we found them, or rather Vic at home, Sue being elsewhere. They have matters in hand and so did not need our assistance.

It was a lovely afternoon and we decided to make the most of the fine weather and cruise on.Once past Uxbridge the canal takes on a far more rural feel, with lakes in view on both sides. As we ascended Black Jack lock, we spied a vacant mooring on armco. Out came the chains, not used in a long while, and we were in. A short walk took us to the pub were we refreshed. A really good day.
Our mooring above Black Jacks Lock

We are now away from the direct flight path to Heathrow so a lot quieter, although the Parakeets are still with us, along with some Peacocks roosting on the roof of the house, visible in the above picture.

15 miles & 14 locks

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