A Weekend of moving was the plan so that I could be as close to the Data Centre as possible, meaning I could get a cab there, instead of hiring a car! Theres a canal in Slough – so why not use it. Because its hardly used and littered with rubbish.. that’s why you should not use it! But more on that later..
Setting of from Cassio Bridge on another gorgeous day getting ready to be sun burnt! The water point was free when we got there – so out with the hose to fill the tank, as we were planning on using the washing machine all weekend whilst were moving, so a lot of water is going to be needed..
It looks like a lot of people will be out on the canal this weekend enjoying the sun.. Easy does it as he’s insisting on standing in the boat.. tempting people to try to wash him out.. “Go on.. floor it” a little voice from Dawson’s direction states..
You don’t need to be in a boat to enjoy the canal either.. These three were shadowing us all the way to Rickmansworth, this fish I got a photo of (and yes.. it went back in).. they also caught another later on in the day..
Arrive in Rickmansworth – pull up at the Tesco at Frogmoor Wharf – which is another one on the canal with mooring next to the supermarket.. Didn’t like the look of that sky much.. and yes.. it started to rain.. but that was a welcome bit of cool against the burn of the morning – and it didn’t rain for too long.. the occasional heavy bits with breaks of sunshine..
And then.. the sign that shows you are no longer in Kansas.. “Low Emission Zone”.. not for me this time.. still doesn’t apply to boats.. yet… even though there was some crazy talk about taxing boats with log burners on because they create smoke.. yea.. don’t think that will fly far to be honest..
And with that – we ended Saturday.
Sunday.. Another scorcher of a day.. and I seem to have picked up a pixie on route.. and yes.. to her credit – no matter what, she is always wearing that life jacket.. We all will need to when we get to the Thames.. bit of a requirement that one I believe.. But with 3 jackets for 4 people.. I know who will be happy not to wear one.. and its not me..
Stopped off at the next water point for another tank top up as the washing machines been going non-stop.. oh dear.. right next to a pub, on a hot Sunday.. such a shame!
The water pressure was so low.. had to start for at least 2 beers.. Got chatting to this guy (sorry – cant remember your name).. who was also a live-aboard boater, who we asked if we could swap the boats around – as he was at the water point but not using it.. Which we did.
Soon enough – he was on his way down towards Southall – and as he was on his own – locked him down so he could stay on the boat.
Eventually, we get to the Slough arm of the Grand union. This was going to be one of the locations we were looking at for a Winter mooring – so that I could be close to the DC for the months that were not going far – and to be honest – I’m glad we didn’t choose it.
Not a bad stretch – if you ignore the tonnes of litter in there, not many boats (other than the residential stretch in the middle), shallow water as its never been dredged since it opened.. and what with the latest sun, and no boats moving, the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is choking up the canal as it takes all the air from the water and kills off the fish (and not doing a lot for my propeller either!)
I decided to run the whole length, and turn at the end to come back to the best mooring spot we saw – which needless to say was near other boats.. as if a stretch of canal doesn’t look to appealing or safe.. you will always find boats huddled in numbers for security.. chances are boaters look out for each other – and if anyone messes with a boat, and is spotted by the neighbouring boater – they will get challenged about it..
We got as close as we could to the bank.. the boat is still 2 feet from the bank as its so shallow we cant get any closer, and the underwater draft on our boat is 1ft 10″ so its gang plank time again..
So – the Slough arm has been done – would I go down it again – No chance.. (and the engine, gearbox and propeller are glad of that also).. not until CRT sort it out, put some decent mooring locations in, dredge it and make it more appealing to the visiting trade.. as when we stopped for the night – down the weed hatch I went and pulled out.. 3 bin liners, 2 plastic bags, a fishing line with hook (that didn’t get me thankfully) and more of that green crap (which is toxic)..
A few days here (or less if the location turns out to be a risky one) – and back out on the main canal later in the week. I think we will go back close to the Malt Shovel.. there’s a 7 day mooring spot there, a winding hole (pronounced as in “the wind blows” – not “to wind in a rope”), plenty of people around, its a pleasant location, and with a hire car planned for this coming weekend – I’m not leaving the boat here unattended..