Ping! 1st August

Ballot Box Bridge to Uxbridge Lock, Grand Union

As it was Sunday we enjoyed having a read of our Saturday newspaper with a cuppa before we got up, so we didn’t push off until almost 10am. Our aim today was to fill the diesel tank as the last time was a top up at St Pancras Cruising Club nearly a month ago. Also getting ourselves out west will hopefully help in getting an engineer back out to look at the washing machine.

Sticky buds

Last weekend (I think) there was a big litter pick along the Paddington Arm, masses of rubbish was collected by volunteers and their efforts showed today, the arm looking much cleaner. Occasionally there was a sign attached to fencing asking people to please use the bins provided, here’s hoping!

A clean slate

The boat of fame we’d seen on our way in, decorated with graffiti looks like it is getting ready for it’s next makeover, the port side greyed out, maybe the starboard side is already repainted!

A lighthouse?

With intermittent showers I retired below. An email from the Production Manager for panto had just arrived, so I was able to give it a bit of attention. Checking felt samples and fabrics. Hopefully we may actually get to meet up at the theatre in the near future, which would be excellent to look at various things that are very much dependant on the structures back stage.

What looked like a lighthouse towards Bulls Bridge Junction turned out to be a tower on a self storage place. Then a very neatly painted NB Orpheus came into view, a very proud owner at the stern. This boat reminded us of the boat that pulled in alongside us in Llangollen Christmas 2017, both have slipper sterns and classical features.

Bulls Bridge

At the junction I went to stand on the bow to give a thumbs up for a clear way ahead.

NB Driftwood was sat on the Tesco moorings, we wondered if they’d still be there when we come back. We turned right and headed northwards. Past a bus depot. Bindweed taking over the world. Under Murderer’s Bridge. Past NB Anglewood whom we’d shared locks with up towards Marsworth weeks ago.

At Cowley, two yellow eyed white cats sat on the roof of their boat. Below the lock we spotted a big sign advertising the sale of a house boat on it’s mooring. Even with a mooring and conservatory I think I’d have still tried to tidy up the outside a touch! Anyway if we had the money the lock cottage is still for sale and much more appealing.

Signs instructed to leave the top lock gate as we found it, water spilling over the bottom gates. C&RT were sending water down to somewhere. The Malt Shovel has new extra tables along the towpath, but considering it was a Sunday lunchtime there weren’t many takers.

We held back for them to come thorugh

Getting closer to Uxbridge it looked like our way ahead was blocked. A zoom in with the camera and I could see there was a very new widebeam coming past the pontoons alongside where the towpath is being upgraded. A lady stood at the bow, walkie talkie in hand. At the stern a chap at the wheel a lady looking down the starboard side. We wondered if it had been dropped in at Bridgewater Basin as No Problem XL had, it was certainly a new Collingwood boat.

In training

Approaching Denham Marina a boat was just winding at the entrance. L plates on the side of NB Willum, there were three ladies on the stern. Blasts of forwards and reverse got them round then they headed back up into the lock for some more training.

We turned into the empty service mooring. Hang on the chain was across! But it’s not a Wednesday and it was just gone 2pm, they don’t close until 3!

A laminated sign on the chain announced that they were closed until 9th August, they had been pinged. Mick had tried calling this morning, but got no answer, I suspect they had just found out and were busy laminating the signs before self isolating. Hope everyone stays well.

Oh Butter!

We winded and found ourselves a space on the visitor moorings. With a quarter of a tank of diesel we need to find some soon, especially as we’ll be heading out onto the Thames. The afternoon was spent ringing several places, yes we can fill up at Packet Boat, but they reportedly only do a split of 60/40. Messages were sent to coal boats but none replied.

At least our mooring should be good for an engineer to visit, even if we have to put up with a very vocal cat in the meantime, shore leave is not deemed safe here.

1 lock, 11.74miles, 1 right, £215k, £580k, 1 mooring sorted, 1 campsite sorted, 1 plan coming together, 1 marina pinged, 0 diesel, 0.25 of a tank, 1 vocal cat, 1 green felt missing.