Saturday, 25 April 2015

Heart over head

Friday 24th April 2015

The clear intention that we had yesterday evening was to move down one lock and moor up before the next lock - less than 1 mile; then to look around Uxbridge a bit more and do some shopping.

We started well - we made it through the lock; as we approached the A40 roaring above us, there was a mention that it would be great just to head into London and hopefully pick up a mooring in Paddington basin and spend some time in London before we were due to come in on the 8th May.
There was no insistence in the voice, just a desire to move off script and let the heart rule the head.
After a bit of checking the Nicholsons - predominantly for locations of railway stations I agreed and so instead of a gentle short cruise, we committed ourselves to a lengthy day of travel.
coming down into Uxbridge - this building gives the appearance of a large ship
architecturally speaking of course.

Rubbish - this mess could only have been left by boaters - SHAME

Environmental vandals - sinking of this small boat

another bridge without a towpath through it - just above Cowley Lock

Admittedly after Cowley Lock, where we filled with water and emptied the cassette, it was simply straight cruising all the way in.
cheesy grin

back into names on boats - Dorothy for my favourite current mother-in-law

Rebecca - favourite daughter in New Zealand

Mitchell - favourite son anywhere

Just prior to Bull's Bridge Junction we were catching up with a widebeam which was extremely apprehensive going through the wide bridge holes, so they slowed right down.
We have been appalled to see so much rubbish around - SHAME
Bull's Bridge and Junction

Eventually they made their way around the junction and just as we prepared to catch and overtake them, BANG!! - we were stopped in their wake.
Pulling over and down the weed hatch revealed a pair of nylon track pants wrapped around the prop.
We were off and going again in 15 minutes, the offending item firmly enclosed in our back deck rubbish bag.
Nothing surprises us any more as to what we are likely find on the prop.

Normal services resumed and gentle easy hard throttled cruising (from Susie Wolff) was the order, until either another boat (widebeam) approached, or a call of nature - whichever was first - after that the water voles had to stop their surfing.
red-eared terrapin or red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Parent coots and a chick 

At least we could see many many potential mooring spots should our goal be full.

Passing by Kensal Green Cemetery we think we saw the gate used by Tim and Prue, in their cruising series, to access the cemetery from canal-side.

Not to anyone's surprise the canal was an almost continual line
of moored boats
Lifeboat refugee from a passenger ship somewhere - seen a few of these already

We are still represented here

I don't think that I have seen a heron and a swan so close together before

Favourite feeding spot I would say - waiting for lunch

We came across literally hundreds of kids playing Gaelic football - next will
be Australian Rules Football

We passed over the North Circular roadway, happily spying on the bumper-to-bumper traffic; we found the Little Venice mooring spot that we will have soon; passed by Paddington station.
North Circular traffic jam

County crest as explained in Tom's blog on nb Waiorou

Terrace houses lining the canal down to the edge...

... and boats as well

entering into Paddington Basin area

In the basin the only possible mooring spot happened to be directly over the lines of air bubbles pumped into the canal to improve it's health; despite Carol and George advising against it, Diane thought it wasn't too bad - so we moored up.

It was not going to work and so we cast off and moved about 1/2 a mile outside Little Venice to Westbourne Green and found a much quieter spot.

We will need to move off on Monday morning as CRT are preparing for the Calvelcade for the Bank Holiday on Star Wars Day.
This will do us until then and we will move further out

21 Miles, 3 Locks
YTD: 303 Miles, 180 Locks, 6 Tunnels, 2 Lift Bridges, 11 Swing Bridges
Totals: 3197 Miles, 2301 Locks, 104 Tunnels, 36 Lift Bridges, 162 Swing Bridges

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