Saturday, 6 February 2016

Cruising south

It was dull and humid yesterday morning as I set off to set the locks for our cruise, three locks and about 3.5 miles.  As we reach the outskirts of London there are long, long lines of moored boats to pass at tick-over speed.
 Denham Deep Lock is the first of the day and I arrive to an empty lock which needs to be filled before we can use it.
 The River Colne passes underneath the Grand Union Canal here and looks to have been dredged since we passed here last.
 Here she comes, into the second lock at Uxbridge.
I arrived at Cowley Lock long before George brought Still Rockin’ down and I was surprised to see that the Cafe/Bistro is up for sale by auction.  All the boating services are based here and when George eventually arrived we emptied and filled all the appropriate tanks and got rid of our rubbish.  

I’d seen a group of people on the towpath by the bridge (which takes the towpath from one side of the canal to the other (a turnover bridge)) as I was walking down, they looked to me like local ‘planners’.  When they came onto the wharf I asked what they were planning. They are looking at making the crossing of the very busy road from one side of the towpath to the other much safer for pedestrians.  I was pleased to hear that because during the summer the towpath is a pleasant and busy place for walkers and for boaters especially, as we need to cross the road again to reach the refuse disposal area which has to be unlocked whilst standing on the road.  Let’s hope they come up with a viable, safe crossing for all.
 This is the ‘Floating Classroom’ electric boat 
 … which today carried lots of noisy, enthusiastic youngsters who had a cookery lesson during their trip out today
The cruise took four hours and we were glad to reach our destination near Packet Boat Lane.  This’ll do us for a few days.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Widewater

Time to move on from our mooring, the water tank is just about empty and I’ve a pile of washing to catch up on!
Took this picture a couple of afternoons ago along a vehicle access path that runs alongside the towpath.  I took this path again yesterday morning to set the second lock of the day.
At the end of the path where it joins the road by Widewater lock there is an extremely busy sand and gravel quarry; another lake in the making.

Once through the lock we turned into Harefield Marina to fill the fuel and water tanks, take onboard some coal and exchanged an empty gas cylinder for a full one so lots of dosh spent!
 I wonder if the newly opened pub opposite the marina welcomes dogs inside?
 We shall find out!

We pulled in at end of a long line of moored boats along the towpath with wide views across the canal and marina ...
The sun had been shining all day but the wind was bitterly cold  Once moored I hung out my first wash load and put another one in … and got it all dry before 5pm … I love it when a plan comes together! Catching a bus into Uxbridge today for some retail therapy, should be a good day even though it was minus 2 when we woke up.