Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Two rockers together on the Thames

Tuesday 31st May

On Sunday we had a bit of a lazy day and didn't go far, Kev went to meet Sam & Will at Kings Cross station and they all got to the boat about 5.45 pm.
Our new crew members!
After we had got them sorted we sat and had a drink before setting off  to walk to Camden Market, it took about 45minutes and so we were all ready for a drink when we got there, so we went into the Weatherspoons and it was very busy. After having had our refreshments we went to the market for some food and a look around, unfortunately the stalls were all getting ready to close! We managed to get some food though, Kev, Sam & myself got a cheesy chicken wrap from one stall while Will got a plain chicken wrap from another stall, all of which were very good. We had a walk around but felt very disappointed for the lads as there wasn't any of the stalls selling goods open as there was when Kev & I had come with Jaz. We expected it to still be open with it being a bank holiday and a couple that we had spoken to who live in Little Venice had told us the market would be buzzing!! We didn't walk back to the boat but got a tube back to Paddington and then had a few drinks on board the boat, we also had our own entertainment!

Will is playing his guitar for us!(sorry it is a bit dark)
On Monday morning the weather had changed and it was cool & overcast, we left Little Venice about 8am leaving the lads having a lie in while we were on the move.  We stopped  at the Sainsbury moorings at Kensall Green and we had a cuppa while we waited for the store to open at 9am and then went for some shopping. While I packed away the shopping Kev started the engine and set off once again heading for Bulls Bridge junction, we wanted water and I had forgot to get eggs when we were in Sainsbury's so as we turned left at the junction we pulled over to the water point which is also where there is a Tesco store. There was already a boat on the mooring so we breasted up alongside of it and as we were coming alongside the man on the moored boat came out and said he was popping to Tesco's first so let Kev start filling our water while I popped for the eggs!

Looking across at the junction for the Paddington Arm we had just come from

Breasted up getting water
It took a while to fill the water and then we were on our way, the lads were up and about and were going to help with the locks we had to do today.
Don't think this boat will be moving far!

Kev shows Will how to work the paddle

Hanwell Lock with the old Asylum alongside!

Will & Sam earning their keep!
It wasn't taking too long going down the Hanwell flight of locks as there were Volunteer lockies filling the locks for us and then we were able to go straight in each one and plus we had our new crew members too! When we had got down through Clitheroes lock we called it a day and moored opposite the Glaxosmithkline office block.
This morning it wasn't looking good weatherise, the wind had picked up and was gusty at times. We were up and away early as we had to get to Thames Lock for 8am so we set off just after 7am, we did stop briefly to empty the cassette & rubbish at the services close to Brentford Gauging Locks. Kev walked with me to get the lock ready and we found that one of the locks was full so we only had to open the gates, Kev went back to bring R&R into the lock while I waited for him at the lock. There was a hire boat moored at the lock and as Kev brought the boat into the lock a man got off the boat and Kev asked if he wanted to share the lock. He said he thought he had to wait for CRT but then Kev told him that the lock keeper at Thames Lock had told us to be there at 8am, the man then got back on his hire boat and came into the Gauging lock with us. When we arrived at Thames Lock there was a work boat in it but it was leaving as we got there and we were told to go straight in once the workboat was out.
Leaving Thames Lock

Ready to turn right onto the River Thames
The hire boat decided to overtake us!
By the time we were getting close to Teddington Lock it had started to pour with rain, we had expected the rain so we had already put our waterproofs on! As we got to Teddington Lock the lights were on red but we only waited a few minutes before  the green light came on & 2 cruisers emerged out of the lock. We weren't in the lock very long before we were leaving and could see where we were going to moor for the day! There was somebody there waiting for us!

George! Nb Still Rockin!!
Carol was taking a photo as we came alongside and George took the bow rope and helped us get tied up, he asked us to go onboard Still Rockin for a cuppa when we were all sorted and so once Kev had put the side panels in on the pram cover & I had took Jaz for a walk we all went aboard still Rockin where there were a few tears from Carol as this is the first time both her & George have seen Rock & Roll since we left them at Droitwich marina where they had moved into a caravan waiting for their wide beam to be built. I would have been emotional too, but Carol said that now she is ok and now she sees R&R as our boat now.

Friday, 27 May 2016

From Rock 'n' Roll to Hard Rock!

Friday 27th May
Yesterday morning there were 2 boats moored breasted up together ahead of us and they had told Kev they would be leaving about 9am and so when they left their mooring we pulled forward and moored in their place. It has been a lot better being next to the towpath, as it is easier to get Jaz on & off the boat. We have had good weather since we arrived here on Tuesday and also had a few good walks too. On Wednesday we walked with Jaz to Camden Market to see what it was like, it took us about 45minutes and it was a bit cool and overcast but good for walking. When we got to Camden Lock where the market is I needed the loo so we walked over the bridge to the Weatherspoons pub and Kev stayed outside with Jaz, he was going to get us a pint when I came out but he had been told by one of the staff from Weatherspoons that we couldn't sit at the tables with Jaz but would have to sit on the wall next to the bridge! So we didn't bother, I wouldn't mind but there wasn't anybody sat outside for Jaz to bother but if thats their policy then fair enough. We went to have a look around the market which was very good but we couldn't really enjoy it properly with Jaz, not that she did anything wrong and actually she was a star and enjoyed plenty of people fussing her. So we stopped for a drink in a bar there and had a drink before walking back to the boat at Little Venice.

Kev got lucky!
Yesterday after we had got onto our new mooring,  we had a wander  about, passing Paddington Station and the through onto a main street with plenty of shops and cafes. We got back to the boat and had a cuppa and a bite to eat and as it was such a lovely day we took Jaz to Regents Park for a good run about, plenty of dogs for her to play with too.
We were quite shattered by the time we got back on board and just sat with a beer in the cratch.

 A lake in Regents Park

Plenty of space in this park
This morning we had a good walk to Paddington recreational ground, Kev had been told about it by a couple he had spoken to when he was walking Jaz. We wanted to give her a good walk before we went out ourselves as we haven't been leaving her much since she has had her phantom pregnancy but she seems to be getting over it now.
Once she was settled we left her and had a walk through Hyde Park and onto Park Lane and then went for a burger to the Hard Rock Cafe.
We passed The Victoria pub, not the Queen Vic!!
Passing The Dorchester hotel
Hard Rock Cafe

 A nice motor outside the Dorchester Hotel

This is an all electric BMW car in their showrooms
After we had finished our food in Hard Rock Cafe we had a nice walk back to the boat where Jaz was waiting for us and ready for her walk.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

No room at Paddington Basin so its off to Venice instead!

Wednesday 25th May
An early start for us yesterday morning we were on our way just before 6 am, Kev walked with Jaz for a while and then I picked them up at a bridge.
Leaving our mooring 
A lovely morning as we left at 6am
Heading to the bridge where Kev & Jaz are waiting to get back on board
Plenty of flats around here
How can people live this way?

It wasn't too long before we were at Bulls Bridge where we turned onto the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. Although it was a lovely morning it was quite cold and we had to wear our jackets but we had the canal to ourselves and was very pleasant cruising.

Lots of swans here bridge 20 ahead of us.

We saw quite a lot of Coots still on their nests.

This looks like an ex  oil rig life boat!

Approaching the North Circular Aqueduct

Busy road as we go over the aqueduct

Old looking terrace homes on one side & offices on the other!

We were soon passed Little venice and through into Paddington Basin and we knew there were 2 boats moored here that Della & Gary had told us about Nb Oak Apple & moored on the inside was Nb Inca. We were hoping to see them to find out if they would be leaving so we could have one of their moorings but there was nobody on either boats so we had to turn around and leave the basin as it was full. No surprise there really as Paddington Basin is very popular!

 Nb OakApple, Nb Inca on the inside

Heading out of the basin

The short tunnel heading towards Camden

We decided to go up towards Camden to see if we could get moored somewhere but we changed our minds when we got to Cumberland basin and turned to come back and went back to Paddington basin to see if by now there were any moorings, but there wasn't and there was still no sign of anybody on Nb OakApple & Nb Inca. So we headed back towards Little Venice and we managed to moor alongside another boat on the visitor moorings. We will stay here now until our grandson Sam & his friend Will arrive on Sunday tea-time. We had a walk with Jaz about 5pm and went to see how long it took to walk back to Paddington station, as Kev would be meeting the lads there on Sunday.

Coming alongside the boat we are now breasted up with

Kev coming out of the station.

The Warwick Castle pub

We had a walk about and went to the pub above for a quick drink before heading back to the boat, but we then took Jaz onto a small park area close to our mooring first so she could have a run about.

Looking back from our mooring

There we are 3rd boat back!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Wheres all my photos gone!

Monday 23rd May

We stayed put at Copper Mill Lock until this morning. Yesterday Kev washed and waxed the towpath side of the boat while I cleaned inside. When we had finished our cleaning etc, we were going to walk back to Rickmansworth to the festival as it was such a lovely day, but with the Coy Carp pub close by we changed our plans and saved our legs and had a shorter walk to the beer garden there.
Jaz is getting used to having her photo taken!
This morning we didn't have far to go to our first lock as we had moored close by, just before the lock landing. Once we were down through the lock we filled with water as the water point is just below the lock and then made our way down the next 2 locks. I am really dissapoined that all the photos that I had taken today with the camera are nowhere to be seen! As I took the memory card out I noticed that it wasn't in properly! Anyway I knew that when we got to Denham Deep Lock that there would be a boat that we know, I had a comment on my last post from Gary & Della Nb Muleless telling us they were moored above the lock so when we arrived we tied up for a bit and had a cuppa & a natter with Della & Gary. We then said our good byes and followed another boat into the lock and shared the next lock Uxbridge lock with them too. They carried on ahead of us as we then turned into Denham marina for diesel which was 54pence per litre. We then reversed out of the marina and turned the boat South in the direction of Cowley Peachey but moored for something to eat before carrying on and, when we got to Cowley Lock we were going to empty our cassettes at the services there but there was volunteer lockies at the lock and a trip boat already in it and they waved us to go in so we did. The lady on the tiller of the trip boat told us not to use the services there as there were better ones further on through bridge190 at Packet boat Marina, so we took her advice and stopped there. We didn't go much further as we had been told by Gary & Della that there was a Tesco  behind some new looking flats and that to get to it you just have to walk through the carpark which is below the flats. They weren't wrong we are now moored at the entrance to the carpark and it is literally 5minutes to actually be in the Tesco! 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

No room at Rickmansworth

Saturday 21st May
A dull start this morning as we left Hunton Bridge, we both put our waterproofs on in case we had rain. As we were heading towards our first lock of the day Hunton Bridge Locks we passed the Old School House, where there is 3 signs on the wall all saying the same thing.
The signs ask for boaters to be considerate when lighting their fires as the smoke gets into the premises! Someone had wrote on one of the signs that if they chose to live next to an airport would they ask for the planes not to fly over their house! I thought it was quite amusing, I don't think The Old School House is someones home but some sort of training place but not sure what.
Just after we had entered Hunton Lock and Kev had closed the gates a woman came up with a windlass and said that there were 2 boats coming from the next lock, so that was good it meant that we would be able to pass them and go straight into the 2nd lock in the short pound. Problem! As Kev went to the 2nd lock the other boats were still in the lock but as I came out of the lock I suddenly found that I wasn't moving I thought there was something on the prop so I managed to call Kev back to me and he noticed that the water level was down a good 18inches! He went back to the lock I had just left and let some water down as I was on the bottom. I started to move slowly and Kev went onto the 2nd lock where the 2 boats were just leaving and as he passed the first boat he explained what he had done. The first boat said he would wait while we were in the lock before he closed the gates on the 1st lock, the 2nd boat was struggling to pass me as there wasn't much water.
Leaving Hunton Lock

Hows that for a fender! A tractor must have a tyre missing!
Approaching a lovely little turnover bridge
The very grand bridge at Grove Park
We had planned to stop and moor at Rickmansworth but John (Nb Snailspace) had told Kev that we would struggle to get moored there this weekend as there was a festival. He wasn't wrong, there were plenty of boats moored before we reached the lock at Rickmansworth and as Kev got off the boat to prepare the lock there were some Sea Cadets  with windlasses and they told Kev to get back on board as they were working the lock. We gave them a donation in their bucket as we got into the lock.
In the lock 

As we leave there are 2 trip boats waiting to enter the lock
These 2 were playing just below the lock 
Plenty of boats moored for quite a long way!
There is a Tesco just ahead with moorings so we moored briefly so I could pop for some potatoes for tea. It looked like a good turnout for the festival with plenty of people about and at least the rain was holding off. 
 Kev has a niece called Martine!
Anybody lost a Gorilla?
We were getting hungry as we hadn't had chance to stop for lunch so when we got to Copper Mill Lock we moored before the lock landing and after Kev had taken Jaz for a walk & he had just got the canopy up it started to rain so we never got wet today after all!