Thursday, 23 April 2015

At Last!!

Tuesday 21st April to Thursday 23rd April 2015

It is strange the stimulii that prompts us to remember something that has happened, spoken or seen, but last Monday when we travelled down to Rickmansworth, we met a group of well-dressed walkers on the towpath - I presume that it was a walking expedition down to the pub.
Anyway we were working our way through Lot Mead Lock, Diane was holding the boat whilst I prepared the lock.
I noticed they had a bit to say with Diane and there was plenty of laughter as well,so I knew everything was OK;  after that they made their way towards the lock, a bit strung out, and the lead man, who had picked up that we were from Australia - his greeting of G'Day was an impressive imitation.

He asked "Did you have much trouble getting the boat on the plane to get it over here?"
the reply "not really, but the excess baggage charge was horrendous"

To which came the retort "You shouldn't talk about your wife like that"

I found it amusing.

We continued our journey down the Colne Valley, stopping firstly at opposite Mount Pleasant; having successfully negotiated the rapids just south of Copper Mill Lock; and the inevitable sideways shift that almost forced us into a collision with a moored boat.
the flow was strong enough for this area to double as a white-water canoe course

Our course was to point into the flow and try to keep the revs high...

...but it still managed to take us across.

But as they say a narrow miss is as good as a mile.
Just a bit more tame than back home
This weed was growing well - just down stream from the outlet from
the sewerage farm - probably the high nitrogen content in the water. 

It does give a brilliantly colourful look

The phone and TV reception was not so good where we moored but that didn't really concern us - the phone worked outside and there was nothing worth watching.

Whilst it was a quiet location, we felt that there would be better mooring a bit further on.

It is not like we are travelling very much each day at the moment - just barely 2 hours per day.
Our first sighting of ducklings for the year

After a bit of work on Thursday morning we upped pins a took advantage of an open lock topgate - something we are seeing more down here - more gates are simply being left open - I do think it is a disturbing trend and probably not isolated to north or south.
Diane liked the front of this boat - the name of which was aptly "Victoria"

For Gordon, who was born around these parts

Diane was chatting quite a lot to this lady at the lock so thought I should take
her photo, at which point she projected her upper torso forward.
It was her crest she was showing to me - the story of my life!!
After the second lock we pulled into Harefield marina, Diane thinking that it was prudent to top the diesel tank up and we also needed a gas bottle - one having emptied just a few days earlier.

Pleasantly surprised to hear that the price was 70 ppl and self-declare; gas at ₤26.50 was a bit cheaper than we had seen elsewhere, but best of all was that in the 20 days since we last filled, the tank took just 39 litres (although I suspect that it probably could have taken another 5-6 litres, but as the marina guy filled it I will leave it with him). He was a nice guy, for a Chelsea supporter, though he did seem to have all his own teeth.
So full up and paid up we exited in reverse, just as a boat was coming down the lock.

We moored up before the next one and took 
a bit of a stroll into Uxbridge for a short look around - it was only supposed to be a half hour walk, but 3 hours later we eventually returned to the boat.
Wanted: large mouse or rat for running a narrowboat

It seems not a lot has changed since our winter mooring habits - still keeping an eye on the weather reports and given that rain is coming we will move tomorrow, but not very far - a mile or so.

On an almost final note, I received my pay check for last Friday nights effort and can now say that I am officially a UK tax payer and also received my National Insurance Number - so practically a UK citizen (but cannot see myself being an English cricket team supporter).

Definitely lastly, we have great news to report - our son, Mitchell, has finally received his US visa and will be winging his way to Sara next Monday, so we think that is better than anything else that has been happening - we are now spread over three continents.

6 Miles, 5 Locks
YTD: 282 Miles, 177 Locks, 6 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 11 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3176 Miles, 2298 Locks, 104 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 162 Swing Bridges

1 comment:

  1. Excellent news on the Pearce family colonising the UK and the US, Ray. Well done! We have a similar pattern as our daughter lives in Sydney and is thinking of becoming a citizen, and our son lives in Scotland and is a UK citizen.
    When people ask us how do we get Waka Huia over in the plane from NZ we tell them we put it in the overhead locker ...
    Cheers, Marilyn