The alarm goes off at 5am, yes I said 5am. We wanted to make an early start, so we could plough up the Slough Arm to the winding hole, and get back to the junction early. So having had an early breakfast and Paddy had an early walk, we set off at 6am.
We crept past the moored boats, shhhhhhhhhh silently does it, well as silent as Hadar’s engine can be. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was popping in and out and there was no wind, a perfect day for boating
We then had to pass all the moored boats again, which took us 20 minutes as we once again crept past on tick over. We arrived at the junction 8.05am and said goodbye to the Slough Arm which was built in 1882 and is 5 miles long, it sweeps over several aqueducts, which include the River Colne, Colne Brook and Fray’s River. The main traffic on the Slough Arm was bricks, made from the clay along the canal. One thing you notice is how straight the Arm is.
We turned back onto the Grand Union. One thing you see quite a lot of on the canal are Pillboxes. In 1940 a network of defences was quickly built all over the Britain to prevent a German invasion. The most seen defences were called “pillboxes”, small concrete forts that were erected at road junctions, canals and other strategic points. Sadly this Pillbox has been subjected to Graffiti, by those who do not care about this countries history.There seems to be a lot of building work going on along the canal, these places are apartments. To our Right we past Yiewsley and to our left West Drayton, none of the area was as built up as I was expecting.
We arrived at Bulls Bridge Junction and our Tesco mooring at 9.15am. Having locked up the boat, we went into Tesco with our back packs and did another food shop. The moorings are very good, you can stay there for 24hours.
Having done the food shop, and we were back at the boat, we found we had a couple of issues to resolve with the boat, one of them being the oil pressure gauge playing up, found that it was leaking, so we had to make a decision as to what to do, should we carry on down the Paddington Arm or should we head back to Cowley and the Chandlery to repair the leak. We decided to head back to Cowley, Keith did not fancy going on with it leaking as it was. So we turned the boat around and headed back to the Slough Arm Junction where we moored up for the rest of the day. Unfortunately the Chandlery was shut so we will have to wait until the morning to see if they have the bits we need. Oh well such is life. We did however get to meet Trevor, who owns NB Juno and helps to run the teaching boat Elsdale2. He is a lovely guy and we enjoyed nattering whilst we made decisions and phone calls.
Tuesday 29th April.