Ballot Box Bridge to ( The Fox ) Ontario Bridge 205A, Grand Union
Time for us to push off. Whilst Mick pootled us along towards Bulls Bridge I had a catch up phone call with the production manager for panto and then tried to complete my technical drawings before we reached the junction. With just a couple of measurements to add to the last plan I bobbed my head out the front to make sure the way was clear, we turned left.
The water point moorings were mostly full, enough space for us at the end but sadly too far away from the tap, even if we used both our hoses. Water would have to wait until later. First lunch and then a biggish shop, we’re going to be venturing into the unknown soon so we wanted to be prepared, also the white wine stocks were getting low!
I’ve still a few bits left to do for Panto, but they can all be done on A4 paper, so the drawing board has been stowed away until the next show. Hopefully I’ll fit these bits in between boating over the next few days.
We pushed off and soon arrived at Norwood Top Lock. Here the water point was empty, so as the tap trickled into our tank we had the pleasure (!) of listening to car wheels being spun and a shiny convertible zooming around the area just looking for an accident to create.
Now at the top of the locks that would lead us down towards the Thames, a bit later than we’d hoped, we decided to push on down the Hanwell flight to save time tomorrow. Between the top two locks the pound was quite low, but Mick took it steadily. The bottom gates were leaking a lot so the quicker I could fill it the better, less water lost all round. Oleanna made it over the cill.
We could have moored in the next pound, there was space but we’d got in our stride so continued. A chap was watering his wonderful floral display on his boat and said they’d only just come up the locks, so they should all be full for us.
A tour were being talked to about Three Bridges as we approached. A local landmark and one in Mick’s life, the Hanwell flight is where he got attracted to boating at an early age. The tour moved off so I could get a picture of Oleanna.
The next two locks were empty and bone dry, either the sun was doing a very good job or it had been a while since the floral boat had come up. We adopted our method of going down a flight. I walk on ahead to fill the next lock, Mick finishes closing up the one Oleanna is in and lifts a paddle, I return to finish emptying the lock, open and close it before walking down to open the now full one.
The distance between the locks is a touch far, but it was worth doing it so as not to waste too much water. There were plenty of people about on the flight out for a walk or just sitting in the shade. This if the fourth time we’ve been down the locks, the black bricks on the corners of the Asylum wall caught our attention this time. These must be where ropes used to ware the brickwork, near the lower locks you can still see the groves.
The day had taken a lot longer than originally thought, most probably due to not being able to fill the water tank whilst we had lunch. The tap being sooo slow didn’t help either. We pulled up where the grass was long on the River Brent, a bit past the footpath upto The Fox, however we refrained from visiting. Too late for shore leave for Tilly, once she realised her charms wouldn’t work she retired to the bedroom to sulk.
8 locks, 8.76 miles, 1 left, 1 full water tank, 3 boxes wine, 1 sulky second mate, 1 empty box of model bits, 2 storage plans to do, 8 groundplans to do, 1 stir fry knocked up, 2 hours away from the Thames.