Monday 21st April
Graham was up and at-em early, a bank holiday still sees him raring to go even after a late night. Jannock was loosed off at 08:00 and all four crew of nb Gecko came to see us off - even though Brenda was still in her bed. As we left Paddington basin I was sorry for the boaters who’d come in over the last few days only to have to leave again as there was no where for them to moor. Many of the moored boats were there when we arrived and still there when we left, but seemed to have no-one aboard. Once the building work is complete there should be a few more berths for visitors to come and play tourists. In a fortnight it’s Canal Cavalcade in Little Venice, that’ll pack the whole area out.
In Alperton there is a cafe alongside the cut, it would appear that it is very popular with the local Police as we counted nine vehicles parked outside when we passed. Just after Perivale nature park we spotted two huge terrapins basking on an overhanging tree trunk. The smaller was over 12 inch shell length and nearly as wide.
We pulled into the Tesco mooring at Bulls bridge for water and to re-stock the fridge. Don’t want any scurvy on my boat. Since it was a lovely warm sunny day I treated us to ice creams. Mistake – it angered the weather gods and the rain started as I left the shop. We ate them inside the boat, in the dry.
Onward as Graham had donned his waterproofs for the run down to Hanwell locks. However the light rain turned into a thunderstorm with added hailstones and so we stopped under the first sizeable road bridge which offered shelter. We, and a drenched cyclist, stayed in the dry for a good fifteen minutes until the punishment was complete. Once on our way again we spotted this original method of slowing down towpath cyclists.
Hanwell lock flight was completed with the accompaniment of sunshine and blue skies. At lock 96 we almost witnessed a ‘you’ve been framed’ moment. Graham had opened the offside gate ready for Jannock to pass through. A runner came out of a little lane, ran across the towpath and onto the closed gate. Two more strides would have seen him launch himself into the canal but luckily he spotted the other gate was open just in time. We would have laughed so much the gods would have needed to send more than a hail storm to punish us (we would have helped the runner out as well, of course ;^)
Down through the last three locks to moor at Brentford Thames lock to await the tide at 07:30 tomorrow morning. And we are just across the cut from the Brewery Tap, a Fullers pub. Just the one then ;^)