Thursday, 14 May 2015

Little Venice to Uxbridge

Fri 8th May

Little Venice to Yeading Park

It was cloudy as we left soon after 9am.  Chris was at the helm of one of the trip boats, with passengers waiting to board.  There was a boat already on the water point, so we decided to move on and use the facilities at Cowley Peachey instead.

We were amazed once again at the number of moored boats, double and sometimes triple moored.  We also passed a garden between a wall and the canal, with many ornaments inset in the wall.

Assorted moored boats everywhere

Ornamental wall

After about a mile we met Alex and Jane coming towards us on About Time. They were winter moorers at Aylesbury like us.  We had a brief chat in the middle of the canal. Someone from the flats overlooking us threw some water out of the window. Whether they usually do this or whether this was aimed at us we do not know. It did not reach us. Hazel missed all this as she was in the shower at the time.

Alex and Jane

Soon after the Kensal Town Sainsbury’s, we passed Per Ardua, also from Aylesbury.

More lines of moored boats

Reflection art

There were lots of lovely food smells in the air as we crossed the North Circular on the aqueduct. I wonder how many of the motorists below realise that there is a waterway in the sky above them?

North Circular aqueduct

We passed Shiraz moored as usual at Horsenden Farm. No sign of Mike.

Shiraz on her mooring

Just before Willowtree Marina, At Yeading Park, we spotted a good place to moor and decided to stop early so that Hazel could hang out the washing. We also thought that there may not be a space for us in our usual place on the Slough Arm.

Our mooring at Yeading

James opened up the weed hatch and removed from the propeller various bits of plastic which had been slowing us down.

An hour later we had a surprise twenty minute shower, so the washing came in again, and was hung up inside the boat to dry.

There was a noisy school opposite, but it soon quietened down when the kids went home. A very pleasant mooring.

0 locks, 10 miles

Sat 9th May

Yeading Park to Uxbridge

There was a lovely dawn chorus this morning, although it was cloudy. There had been no further rain in the night.  Soon after set off we spotted Jack Merrick, which used to be owned on the Wey by David and Jane Brixey, who now own Rowan.

Jack Merrick

We cruised to Bulls Bridge Junction, noticing the extra power from the clean propeller.  We turned right, but looked to the left at the boats moored at Tesco to see if Peter and Lin were there on Gospel Belle. There weren’t, but we knew they had been in Windsor last Sunday, so we were looking out for them.

We stopped at Yiewsley to visit Aldi and Morrisons, neither of which were very good stores, both being very crowded and untidy, and under staffed.

As we were casting off, a man with two kids came running up and asking for £2.90 so that he could get the bus back with his family. He seemed genuine, so we helped him out.

We passed the end of the Slough Arm at Cowley Peachey Junction, and then paused at Packet Boat Marina for facilities, having to ask a floating classroom to move off the water point.

Cowley Peachey Junction

Slough Arm

While we were there, Mistol came past, with Rob at the helm.  Peter followed on Gospel Belle. They were heading for Uxbridge, and, like us, were planning to attend the Waterloo Road church.

When we reached Cowley Lock, there was a boat waiting to go up, and a boat in the lock coming down.  The chap coming down must have been new to boating, because he left his windlass on the wrong side of the lock, and he had tied his ropes to the steps, causing the boat to list when the rope tightened.  Fortunately the lock was nearly empty by then, but he probably learned a lesson.  He had a dog which didn’t want to be carried down the ladder, so James picked it up and put it on the boat below the lock.

There were three boats at the water point, and the one using the hose had a full tank, and the water was going into the canal. No-one around.

We continued on to Uxbridge, and were surprised not to see Gospel Belle and Mistol moored up before bridge 185. We stopped soon after the bridge, and Rob and Tricia came along the towpath. They said Peter had got the bridge numbers muddled up so they had gone a little too far.  They were going to check the turning possibilities as Peter had difficulty walking, following an operation.

The mayflies are emerging

1 lock, 8 miles

Tomorrow: Waterloo Road Church.  Next week: a slow journey to Rickmansworth for the festival.

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