Lived on-board Hadar

Daisypath Vacation tickers

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On the move again.

Monday 12th May.

Slough Arm to above Black Jack's Lock, Harefield, 5.8 miles and 5 locks.

Our morning began with the usual, dog walking, eating breakfast, oh and not forgetting to get dressed, that comes before the dog walking. Once we were all ship shape, we left our overnight mooring, which was lovely and quiet this time and headed back on to the Grand Union main line. Our first port of call was the sanitary station at the Packet Boat Marina, where we took on water and got rid of rubbish. Whilst filling up with water, we stood and watched as another boater struggled with the £12 pump out, which did not seem to be working correctly. In the hour it took us to fill up with water, it took him as long to pump out his toilet waste. It made us feel so grateful that we do not have a pump out. We left the sanitary station and headed towards Cowley Lock, where one of the Land and Water gravel boats was already beginning its descent. I walked up to help with the lock gates and got chatting to the local police office who was on towpath duty for the day. We had an interesting conversation about the little darlings who tear up the towpaths on motorcycles. Before carrying on with the conversation. I had to help the gravel boat get out of the lock, by opening a paddle to allow water to surge under the boat, enabling the operater to move out of the lock. The gravel boat was at its heaviest with 160 tonne onboard, so every little bit of help was appreciated. With Hadar now in the lock and the paddles raised, Keith and I carried on the conversation with the policeman about the towpath tearaways. The policeman wanted to know if we had encountered any problems with kids on motorcyles, which of course we had. His advice to us was to write down as much detail as we could about the bikes, riders etc and let the police know. I told him I can go one better, we always take photographs, which pleased him no end. It seems that this coming weekend, there is going to be a huge crackdown on the towpath tearaways. They have already caught a few of them and crushed their bikes, but they are not letting up on the crackdown, which is excellent news for anyone else who likes to walk the towpath, because they maybe able to walk them in safety in future. ( I know I am dreaming ).Having wished the policeman well, we carried on our merry way, coming across NB Chiswick at Uxbridge, still decked out in her bunting from the Little Venice Cavalcade. Maybe she is heading for the Ricky festival as well.Before approaching Denham Deep lock, we spotted this boat with its four occupants and one that had abandoned ship into what seemed like the life raft, it just looked like they were all about to jump ship. They greeted us with lots of barking and waggy tails. Which made us both smile, as it was such a cute picture. By the time we reached Denham Deep lock we had been caught up by a Wyvern Shipping Hire Boat, with balloons and bunting on the roof. Having emptied the lock, we shared the lock and the following two locks on our way to Harefield. One of the ladies onboard had been asked, by her husband how she would like to celebrate her 60th birthday, and she told him that she wanted to celebrate it on a boat in London. So they hired a boat with friends and were enjoying a fantastic time. Our time together ended when we exited Black Jack's lock, and moored up on the towpath. It was now time for some lunch. we said our goodbye's and wished them well with the rest of their holiday. After lunch we walked up to see Keith's sister and brother-in-law, where we had a much needed cup of tea, as it is some hike up the hill, but wonderful coming back down to the boat later in the afternoon. We are stopping put for a couple of days, as we do not need to be at Rickmansworth until Friday. The weather today, gave us sunny spells, but once again the wind was a nuisance at times. Still we cannot have everything I guess.Black Jack's Mill, is looking splendid now that it has been given some TLC. It has been turned into a Bed and Breakfast. The mill itself was built in 1840 and is a former watermill. It made an appearance in the film The Bargee.


Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

It's nice to see others photographing the towpath bikers and handing the evidence to the police too. If we all keep up the good work it might make some improvement.

I think we must have walked past you at Little Venice on the Monday without realising. Never mind, we'll say hello next time.

Keith and Jo said...

Hi Paul. Welcome onboard. The police welcome any help with this problem, as the gentleman said to us, they cannot be everywhere at once. No body wants to stop the kids enjoying themselves, but when it is putting their lives and others at risk, a line has to be drawn. So far all of the kids we have seen on these bikes have not been wearing helmets. Last time they had three on a bike, which of course is dreadfully dangerous. So we shall keep up the good fight.
You may well have walked past us. Hadar was in the Pool at Little Venice and keith and i would have been in traditional dress. Please do come and say hi next time you see us. Jo