Saturday, 17 February 2007

Milly M in the snow

Milly M on the morning of the snow. This pic sent to me by Derrek nb Gypsy Rover. I of course was wrapped up in bed.

Apsley to Uxbridge

Monday 05 Feb

Fitting a drawer is not the easiest thing to do after the initial build, but I now have somewhere to put all the stuff that doesn't fit in the cutlery drawer.

Tuesday 06 Feb

Today I bought a BELKIN 54 wireless network adapter to try and improve my connectivity. It works a treat. I got straight on line and had all the functionality I needed.

Wednesday 07 Feb

I had dinner tonight with Derek and Dot from nb GYPSY ROVER.

Thursday 08 Feb

Well it arrived as promised. The snow was inches thick on the roof. People were out and about enjoying the snow with their kids, many of whom had never seen snow in their short lives. If it snows again tomorrow I think I will stay for a bit longer. I don’t really fancy locking down with a lot of snow around.

Friday 09 Feb

No snow today.

Saturday 10 Feb

It's time to go. I emptied the black water tank and said my good byes. Setting off for Lady Capel's Lock I cruised down only slowly because the lock doesn’t open until tomorrow. On the way I plucked many.a float and spinner from the trees. Overnighting past Hunton Bridge it took me three tries to get moored, the depth at the bank being very shallow.

Sunday 11 Feb

Being in no great hurry I set off late to Lady Capel's about eleven, it was only three locks away and not due to open until late afternoon. More tackle treats in the trees. Arriving at the lock I was mooring for a long wait when a BW worker called me into the lock. It seems that they were bringing a boat and used the water to let me down. It's nice to know that they are concerned about saving water. So I was on my way. Each lock was a tourist attraction. Gongoozelers were out in abundance. At one lock I did something to add to the attraction. As I came out of the lock a coal merchant was bringing up to breasted barges. We breasted up, now the boats wide, and I took on solid fuel. I suppose, in hindsight, I should have topped up the diesel tank while I was at it.

I picked up a couple and their dog and gave them a trip into Rickmansworth. Rickmansworth has a Tesco's with a proper mooring alongside. Dropping down the Batchworth Lock my passenger opened the paddles while a boat below was trying to move off. I think they were a bit pissed off when they were pushed into another boat on the opposite bank. My passenger was a novice at locks but having said that the other boat should have stopped him. Yes I suppose I could have stopped him but I was on the end of a rope controlling the boat I couldn’t see that the other boat was moving off. Maybe he shouldn't have been moored up on a lock mooring if he had no intention of locking up. Nonetheless in future I will be more aware of what is happening and only give the nod to open the paddles when I am sure it is safe to do so. If they should be reading this then I do apologise, my boat, my responsibility.

I got to Coopers Mill Lock and banged into the top gates on the way in, doh! Below the lock I topped up the water tank. Big Mistake! There is a sewer farm outflow. While the smell was not unpleasant the scum on the water managed to collect around the boat and looked disgusting. Mooring up by the Coy Carp pub was difficult due to the current from the out flow so about 100 yards down I moored behind a boat that had the engine running 'til after midnight.

The UK is set to reduces its CO2 output. Should it achieve a 25% reduction world CO2 levels will drop by only 1/2%. If the USA did like wise CO2 levels would drop by 8%

Monday 12 Feb

Well it didn't take me long to decide to get away from all the scum on the canal. I was away like a greased ferret turd. Shouldn't have rushed, arriving at Uxbridge Lock I saw the workers still repairing the gates. Bugger!!!. I will be here until Friday.

When I went away over three years ago there was BBC 1 BBC 2 ITV and Channel 4 (Five if you could get it) now there is BBC 1,2,3,4, ITV 1,2,3,4 and every one seems to get Five.

If it is not right to hang clothes on a super skinny model, supposedly because most people are not skinny then why are they still advertising 4X4s driving up mountains and down muddy dirt tracks. I can't recall ever seeing a 4X4 ever looking like it had ever so much as bumped the curb. I think if people must buy these gas guzzling monsters then it should be compulsory that they take them up mountain or down a dirt track once a month.

Tuesday 13 Feb

Can you believe there is a colony of parrots at Willow Bank living wild? Only in London!

Wednesday 14 Feb

Thursday 15 Feb

Canal Rescue came today to look at my bow thruster on behalf of Aquafax, I certainly don't want to go onto the Thames without it. When they saw the burned cable at the main isolator switch they put up their hands and walked away saying it was a warranty problem with the builder. The cable was burned in such a way as to indicate localised heating at the terminal possibly due to a loose connection. Rather than have LBB come out I decided to sort the problem myself after talking to Lyle at LBB.

Only a few inches of cable were burned. I got the leckie at UBC to cut the cable back to good copper and re-crimp it. He also made me a foot long cable so that I could install a fuse. Re-routing the long cable to a more direct route would allow for the lump cut off. I had to buy a new isolator because the terminal had distorted due to the heat generated by the high resistance of the connection. The isolator was tucked away behind a drawer. I will re-site it to be more readily accessible.

Dr Bones paid a visit today. We had a late lunch in the Swan and bottle. I think she liked the boat. Dr Bones is cute.

Friday 16 Feb

Watching the BW guys working is like watching paint dry. I'm sure they are doing their best. They appeared to be finished then they had to reseat a bollard. Fair play it only took them 1/2 an hour.

I managed to get through the lock at 4 o'c. Denham Marina should have been a good place to stop for diesel, if he'd had enough, but I emptied his tank and had to finish up taking on fuel at Uxbridge Boat Centre who was also running low. While at the UBC they told me the parts I had ordered for the bow thruster had arrived so I will do that job in the morning.

I moored up outside the General Elliot pub. There was a Valentines dance on later. It is now 01:20 and the music has just stopped, time for bed.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007


Sorry about the copy of the 19-23 of January. I have corrected it now but you will need to read the 23 Jan Addendum

Monday, 5 February 2007

Here I am again

Wednesday 24 Jan

I was awakened at 2 am by the sound of children playing, in the car park? Now I understand that snow is something that happens infrequently in this neck of the woods, but kids out at two in the morning on a school day is just not on. Where are their parents?

Today it's back to Marsworth. Goosey Lucy bade me farewell. Between Grove Lock and Church Lock I saw a swan with a broken wing. I knocked on the door of the house at Church Lock to ask for the number of the RSPCA. The lady there said she would phone for me and I was on my way.

I have had wind and stomach cramps all day. Not the ideal when trying to get through eleven locks and a swing bridge. Once again I arrived in Marsworth on the tunnel light.

Thursday 25 Jan

There was an auto accident outside the White Lion this morning. A car standing at the lights was hit head on by another, the driver of which (and his passenger) did a runner the whole area was covered by many policemen, dogs and a helicopter.

Toby came today. I haven't seen him for sometime, but nonetheless was surprised to see he had put on some weight. Not a lot, but noticeable, he used to be a stick. We walked the canal up to the Wendover Arm and back. After a lunch in the Bluebell we adjourned to the White Lion. A BW chap at the lock works on the Marsworth flight said the canal would open about 3pm on Friday. We couldn’t go very far on the boat, there was ice on the water, but he will join me again in Berkhamstead for the cruise down to Hemmel and beyond.

If you ever get to Marsworth the menu at the White Lion is modest in size but first class in execution. It is certainly worth a try. We had our evening meal there and were not disappointed.

Friday 26 Jan

The Aylesbury arm is a nice walk on a sunny day, shame it was overcast and soggy. I look stupid dressed in muddy clothes, but that’s what you get for rolling about on muddy lock banks, albeit unintentional. OOOPS!

The flight opened at about 3:15. The biggest boat I have seen so far was the first up.

I asked Daughter Kirsty B/f Ray and G/daughter Natalie to dinner. Ray was late back from work so didn't come, but K & N arrived about 7. Once again the White Lion came across with an excellent meal.

Saturday 27 Jan

I moved up one lock this morning just to get a head start on Sunday. Once again Colin and Joy came to visit. This is getting to be a regular thing. The really sad thing is that the people who run the pub will be leaving in 9 days so I suppose the quality of the food will go with them.

Sunday 28 Jan

Ohhhh my head. Too many sherberts, still not to worry I should feel better after a few locks. Oh! No I didn't! Apart from the pound being very low, down a foot or more, the wind blew making locking difficult as if the locks aren't difficult enough. At the second lock, Moored to the off side the boat swung away from the bank, pushed by the lock flow, and pulled the mooring bollard into the canal complete with its concrete seat. Of course there were a few Gongoozelers. Ain't that the way. I will call BW in the morning.

I arrived early at Cow Roast hoping to stock up with solid fuel and a new gas bottle. Bloody namby-pamby southern marinas don't open on Sunday so I will moor here for the night.

Sue Livens came to visit again. I like all this socialising that goes with boating.

Monday 29 Jan

Topped up with fuel and gas I contacted BW about yesterday's faux par with the bollard and I was on my way. Part way down the flight I met up with Allan Fincher who helped me down the rest of the locks into Berkhampstead. I moored bang outside the Crystal Palace pub. The CP pub is opposite the 'Totem Pole' where I am "sure to get free WI-FI". Well that didn’t happen even though the guys in the pub said they could even get it in there.

A walk through the town drew me to what used to be the music shop I was looking for, but now defunct. Ho hum! However I did find 'Guitar Geezer' a new shop where I was able to get what I needed. I also found a 'Papa John' pizza parlour, which I have only ever seen in Riyadh.

Tuesday 30 Jan

The water point atop of the of the flight is blocked by a bunch of CCer's. The tap at the bottom of the flight is …………………. not working. So there is me with one shower and one cup of coffee in the water tank, oh dear! I moored up at Winkwell swing bridge after catching a prop full of junk. I used up my shower. I saved the coffee for the morning. For fluid sustenance I popped along to the Three Horse Shoes, passing on the way nb Valerie, I found Les was in the pub.

Wednesday 31 Jan

My god is it the last day of the month already, Tempus Fugit.

I did the weed hatch before moving off, well I would wouldn't I. With my head down the hatch some huge dog barked in my ear and scared the friggin' shit out of me. Why is it that owners always say, "Don’t worry he's harmless", when you have just nearly crapped in ya boxers. I do worry because he was looking down at me like he looks down at his dinner. I wouldn't mind, but he had only just had breakfast.

There is a water point at the Boxmoor BW yard which was accompanied by what appeared to be a permanent resident, connected to the water point and genny on the towpath, rattling away.

Down at near Apsley Marina I met Derek and Dot on the nb Gypsy Rover. They are a New Zealand couple 'doing the system' for a few years. Their boat was built at the Heron yard.

Despite all my planning not to plan anything I find that I am to be stuck here until Feb 11 due to the closure of Lady Capel's Lock, but all is not lost I can at least get as far as Hunton Bridge where I will meet up with Colin & Joy and Bones at the weekend.

Thursday 01 Feb

A chat with the warden at the marina and I arranged that his wife would repair my cratch cover having torn off a corner some weeks ago. He only charged me 15 quid for the 3in sq patch and replacing three poppers, two of which he had to drill out.

Friday 02 Feb

Every time I come back to the boat I put all my change in a biscuit tin. Today I took it all to the bank. £273 How cool is that?

I have long been disappointed that I only have one drawer in the kitchen. It's ideal for normal cutlery but where does one put Kitchen knives, cheese grater and other utensils? There is a blank drawer front to the left of the sink which could have a drawer. I don’t understand why it wasn’t fitted. Anyway a trip to B&Q told me that they have in stock a drawer for a 500 mm base unit. I called Ledgard to ask what size my units were and they said 600 mm but on returning to the boat out came the tape measure and lo and behold it is only 500 mm so I will be going back next week.

Saturday 03 Feb

I left Apsley Marina this morning about ten to travel to Hunton Bridge to meet Colin and Joy for dinner. Unfortunately Bones has been ill and will be unable to be there, but not to worry we can eat her share.

The weather has been really mild for the last few days and today was no exception. It has been like a spring day. If you think about it, with the government giving me nice pension for services rendered each month, I'm getting paid for this. How cool is that?

Sunday 04 Feb

Last night we had a good meal at Abbots in Abbots Langley. "Abbots" strange name for a Curry shop, but then maybe not. Colin has known the owner for nearly twenty years. We were well looked after. This is the last time I will see Colin and Joy for some time and I will be sad for that, but I have enjoyed their company. If ever you should meet them on the canal I just know you will like them, say hello from me.

I came back up the canal today all the way to B&Q and got the drawer insert. I turned my boat around past Two Rivers Bridge without using the BT. You see I can do it, but what is the point of having an 'electric boat pole' if you don't use it. Though I must admit I do get a certain amount of pleasure stopping the boat in the middle of the canal taking the boat sideways into a parking slot. The look of disapproval on the faces of the boating intelligencia is priceless. Oh you noticed I don’t do 'mooring', it's my home not a friggin' battleship.

I cannot go forward due to closures which will be finished on Sunday next so I get to moor up in the basin by the marina for a while.