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Archive for September 15th, 2011

The Odyssey 2011: Day 47

Posted by indigodream on 15 September, 2011

Cassiobury Park to Bulls Bridge

Saturday 3rd September

It's a hard life....

The day started overcast and cool – perfect for a long day’s cruising. We all woke in good spirits – including the hounds – though one of Lynx’s eyes was slightly closed – like all devious hounds he opened his eye wide on inspection – he didn’t want to end up at the vets! He had a reprieve over the weekend but a visit to the vet on Monday showed that he had a few tiny scratches on his cornea – probably from sticking his head into the undergrowth!

We had a leisurely start, closely watched by the crew of nb Imagine, who were waiting to share locks with us again. We set off around 9am, and they soon joined us – however they only came down two locks before mooring up in Croxley Green – their garage had apparently been burgled overnight so they had to go back to check things out. We had a pleasant trip through the rest of the park, spotting two fine greyhounds being walked above Common Moor lock.

It was relatively slow going through Croxley Green – there were lots of moored boats on both side of the canal. We were amused by the sight of a cat the size of a donkey on nb Odin – s/he was sitting in the cratch and I thought it was a large toy cat until it moved it head imperiously. Lou and Lynx were oblivious on board!

Indestructible! This gorilla has been hanging there for as long as we've been boating!

Being closer to London, we were suddenly overwhelmed by canalside shopping – we stopped in Tesco’s in Batchworth just for the sake of it!

There are some magical places on the next stretch – Black Jack’s lock and it adjoining cottages were as lovely as ever. The cottage below the lock has a huge collection of apple trees – they were in blossom on our way up and were now laden with an enormous crop of apples – I wonder what they’ll do with them all. The whole area is very welcoming, with scenic locks and enticing views towards the surrounding lakes. Unfortunately the canal is very shallow at the edges – I’ve often fancied mooring on the stretch above Denham Deep lock, but the edges are badly in need of dredging – I doubt whether the towpath side is even 6 inches deep. It’s a shame as it would be a perfect place for the hounds – especially where there’s access through to the Colne Valley trail and the adjoining lakes.

We noticed that the Horse and Barge pub, by Bridge 180 in Harefield, is working hard to attract business from the canal but we were so well-stocked with supplies post-Tesco that we carried on…

The past and the present - the lock chamber dated 1870 and the lock gate 2008...

We’d had a thoroughly enjoyable day’s cruise but the real world intruded at Uxbridge – I needed to get the train back to get the car so that we could attend a wedding party in Thame in the evening. Richard dropped me off at Uxbridge and I went back to Betchworth by tube, train and cab – the car had been fine and I had a mercifully smooth trip back. In the meantime Richard single-handed down Cowley lock and headed towards Bulls Bridge – our rendezvous. I parked up in Tesco just after he moored up outside so it all worked perfectly. The Bulls Bridge moorings were quite full but we managed to squeeze in just by the dry dock.

We were planning to drive to the wedding party but we’d need to leave the car in Tesco’s car park overnight when we got back. As it’s a 24-hour Tesco we didn’t think we’d be challenged, but we sought permission from the store anyway. I have to say that they were very obliging and gave us permission to park overnight – phew!

We had a nice time at the wedding – having remembered to pack our posh clothes on board – but we didn’t stay out too late and were back and in bed before midnight – just as well, I had an early start planned for Sunday….

Photoblog:

This made me smile - the boat is covered in little slogans..

Always a sad sight...

Maybe we worry too much about our blacking - this boat is still afloat!

The Horse and Barge - working hard to attract canalside business...

Canalside development at Uxbridge lock...

Floating dry dock - how clever is that? Operated by P J Wakeham who also runs fuel boat Baron hereabouts...

There are allsorts on the canal.....

An invitation you can't refuse???? 🙂

Ouch!

This is West London....

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