Saturday 16th April
Wildlife of the day – Woodpeckers
In order to set off from Grove we had to shift Jannock off of the mud as the water level in the pound had dropped quite a lot during the week we’ve been moored here. No wonder Sue on No Problem complained about getting stuck there. We moved a little way to Grove Mill bridge where we tied up and loaded the Di Blasi etc. as the walk to the boat from the car was a bit long. Once loaded we set off an immediately ran aground again above Cassiobury Park top lock when I tried to get off the boat to set the lock – luckily a passer by assisted with the re-floating effort as I couldn’t move her on my own no matter where I tried with the pole. Before Iron Bridge lock I met the aforementioned Sue and hubby Vic on the tow path as they were going for a walk with the dogs and so a very brief hello was said, and Brenda introduced, as we passed.
We stopped at Ricky Tesco for a mega-shop once we had manoeuvred around a new boat owner who was trying to be in control even though he was constantly being attacked by a tiller that was far too long to allow him to use it from the rear deck of his trad. stern boat. As we were untying from Tesco we agreed to pair up with nb ‘the Cat’s Whiskers’ and managed to share with them all the way to Uxbridge. At Coppermill lock we met Dave and Beryl Chapman heading North towards the IWA bash at Northampton. I helped work them through whilst having a good chat with Dave. Once through Coppermill lock I managed to cycle past the bank where Brenda fished our lock-wheeling bike out in 2006 without it wishing to return into t’cut. The flowers on the tree at Black Jacks lock were so nice I had to take a picture of them.
We moored up for the night along the Uxbridge straight having bade farewell to the Cats Whiskers as they continued on to Cowley to view their new mooring.
Sunday 17th April
I was out and on the road at 6:30am to move the car from Grove. Brenda was amused when I reported “I got lost in Southall, I hate traffic lights – they’re a nightmare” on my return nearly 3 hours later.
After breakfast we untied and set off immediately passing a moored narrowboat that has been done up to resemble a galleon (see picture). We met the Cats Whiskers heading back North again who reported that their prospective new mooring was good and so they would be moving to Cowley marina. The rest of the day was relatively un-eventful passing down through Cowley, then Bulls Bridge and onto the Hanwell flight. There was a BW widebeam workboat loosely tethered with the regulation length of baler twine immediately below lock 95 which blocked off half of the lock entrance so I’m glad we were in a narrowboat. Any widebeam trying to exit that lock would have to go and rein it in a bit first. Brenda was wondering what the ‘secure’ unit was alongside lock 95 but we have since learnt that it is St. Bernards Hospital. We finally moored up above a rotting collection of autumn leaves which made the canal surface bubble with a horrible smell as we moved in over the top of it all. – loverly ;^)