The plan, this year, had always been to go up the Grand Union Canal (GU) from the start to finish, a way of getting close to our winter mooring. The temptress of the R. Thames laid its bait as we cruised, easily, along her waters and we did a tally up of pros and cons before we decided we would definitely go UP the GU Canal. We have done Norton Junction to Brentford, which was so last year! It’s Brentford to Norton Junction then continue on the GU Canal-Mainline to Birmingham. I know there are a ‘lorra’ Locks and miles of canal but it is not a ‘bar-steward’ and with Cptn and I sharing the helm and Locks, we can do it ‘piece of cake’.
Brentford Basin, once we had secured our prime visitor mooring position, was a good resting place for a week while Cptn sorted out his dental work-to-be-done, in London. Positive decision made, now watch this space, the tooth fairy will return the missing one!
Cptn has been busy getting DB’s eye-candy plan ready. So with the first delivery of A4 size stick on colour vinyl plastic, we could make a start on decorating the exterior of DB. A blank canvas, that we have always received high praise for her lines. Now we are getting random comments about her aesthetic plan.
“You are BRAVE!”
“It (sic.coloured vinyl plastic) looks interesting; amazing; wow.....” Depending on age and (L) or (R) Brain dominant.
Time passed quietly in the Basin. Della had a groom. We went for a walk into Syon Park, London home of the Northumberland’s, and were gob-smacked to see the mass of vehicles belonging to the huge film unit currently in occupation. As to be expected, there was no information given to what was being filmed apart from it’s a sequel to a blockbuster movie. Oh well, I’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD and is in the local charity shop for resale! Sorted.
We had visits from some of our London friends, before we cruised into the sunset. Great to catch up and recharge the friendship batteries! Sorry to Annabel who got a £60 parking fine, on a bleeding Sunday, in the Brentford Basin office car park. No-one uses it on a Sunday, for heaven’s sake! Get me out of London, I thought........
So, happily, we left Brentford Basin at midday on Monday. The water levels were low but we were more than keen to get underway. Our mooring was taken straight away by a wide-beam boat. The Basin had been full all week with London boat people. It’s a way of life.
There is a neglected plastic boat that looked burglarised and I wonder what C&RT are doing about it. I’m sure the Enforcement Officer knows and there will be some lengthy costly procedure taking place....
|Asking for it.....|
It is so unfair for people who use the waterways responsibly.
The cruise up the Hanwell Flight of 8 Locks is not an experience I’d rush back to. We did the 2 Locks before the flight, and 6 of the 8 Hanwell Locks before calling it a day. The green algae covered waters are not pretty and, I think, synonymous with London canal waters.
|Does algae have floating rights?|
There is work to be done, on this flight and I think if it were my backdoor waters I’d be out giving a helping hand! All I wanted to do, now, was get on out of here.
Next day, we were ready for an early start. The day was forecast to be hot, and we were keen to be off. I took Della for her early morning walk with windlass in hand; she had to walk the gang plank as the water was too shallow to be moored directly alongside the towpath. The gang plank training at Wargrave Marsh on the R. Thames, had given Della confidence to walk the plank. We went to the Lock ahead and I wound a gate paddle to empty it. We walked on up to the top lock and there was a wide-beam boat about to enter it. I let them know we would be coming up and to leave the gates open as they left the Lock. I stopped emptying the Lock below and began filling it so it would be ready for them. I thought they would be down, at our level, before we were ready for the Lock.
They were just approaching the Lock, from above, as we were approaching, from below. They didn’t show confidence in what they were doing and I couldn’t resist giving them words to get moving. Apparently he used to moor on the River Lee but now moored in London. Surprise surprise. He had been a boater for 6 years and had cruised the boat down from middle England. “Oh, one of those.” I said. I’m turning into a bitchy old cow, transparent and robust with little empathy for diversity. It’s not right!!
Get me out of London. I made an attempt, on August 1st at 0630 hrs, to book a mooring space at Rembrandt Gardens, Paddington with C&RT for 6 – 12 September. In hindsight I was lucky that I didn’t get the mooring. I think to be almost certain of being allocated a space, the email has to be sent on the dot of 00:00hrs 1st of the month for the month ahead.... That will be a new game for me!
We cruised straight ahead at Bull’s Bridge and ‘Up’ the GU to get through Cowley Peachy, Uxbridge and beyond to Copper Mill Lock, Harefield.
|Double berthed on Widewater Lock Moorings! I saw 'car'boat near here, last year.|
We were on the way and little sign of boats on the move.