Joined Dec 11 2011
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Joined Dec 11 2011
It took four months of spare home time between mid January and mid April 2013 to sort out last year's photos! I'd been using two Fuji Finepix digitals and was not quite careful about ensuring that the reference date was correctly set until I realised sometime in October that a lot of 2011 shots should actually be 2012. Also GMT becomes BST in late March in Engerland and the camera has to be TOLD. ESPECIALLY you need some sort of flag to tell you which camera an actual shot might be in. And VERY especially you need to be sure your 07.00 is not really 19.00, because the camera clock is 12hrs out when you misrepresent am for pm or v v. Now this might seem like a rather lame excuse but if I tell you I now have 'em sorted out to YESTERDAY and the count is well over 2200 shots.NOW and only NOW can I upload them to the Cloud. And THEN I can start linking back to the site. Oh! And I got a bedroom to rebuild in the front cabin and a boat to get to Aldershot by the end of the month.
Pentargon entered the Lee Navigation System on 15th June 2013 via Bow Lock and remained there until 15th September 2013, during which time she found her way to Top of Navigation at Hertford (River Lea) and Bishop's Stortford (River Stort). Pogue discovered (and now understands) the anomoly of "Lee" and "Lea". He already knows (being Oirish) that the River Lee is in Ireland and its mouth is the mighty Cork Harbour, the largest enclosed harbour in Europe. The variant "Lee" was introduced to Essex and East London at some stage during the development of the Lee and Stort Navigation to differientiate between the man-made watercourses while "Lea" was reserved for the original river. While at Bow we met a strapping young cyclist (well he could have been in his mid 30's) enquiring as to how he might best get to the end of the River Lea or even where was the end. It is perhaps a story for another day but he had come on his bicycle from the very source of the river near Luton and wished to complete the trek before cycling to Kings Cross to take a train home.
Lea Thames Brentford 2015
It had been Pogue's intention to escape from the Lee navigation by the BowLocks and take the tidal River Lea (Bow Creek on London's A-Z) to Leamouth on a dropping tide. We would wait at Leamouth til the turn and then ride the Autumn Spring all the way to Brentford. Pentargon commuted between Three Mills and Limehouse for many days while tides and moorings were examined and the possibility of mooring over winter at Three Mills was looked at. Time or Tide wait for no man though so, when an opportunity arose to depart via Limehouse early one September morning, Pentargon entered the Thames on a rising Spring at 1150hrs and went in at Brentford at 1520. The trip up-river was entirely uneventful and as a result rather forgettable. Are we becoming so blasť that a solo transit of the Thames from Limehouse to Brentford in a 36' narrowboat is so easily dismissed?
Pentargon remained in the
tidal Brent at our favourite mooring for some days before moving north
through the gauging lock at Milestone 93 and mooring overnight by the
A40. Rising on the morrow morn and seeing a boat heading north we very
quickly got underway, knowing the next few miles might be completed in
company. And so it was that we negotiated Clitheroe, Osterley and the
interminable Hanwell flight in the company of the Aussie crew of a Black
Prince hire boat who made the passage extremely enjoyable.Some people
have problems with 'hire boats'. We tend to test the mettle of the
actual people and this works for us. We have met dickheads
and arseholes on all types of boats even workboats but have yet to
encounter either category in a hire boat. Sometimes they can be lacking
in know-how but it is usually counter-balanced by a humility and an
eagerness to add to their skills and store of knowledge
Our current quest (as part of a bigger overall plan to take us to the end of the year) was to locate Buster Gasman to have him dismantle the on board Vaillant heater and put it together working. We stopped off to spend a very convivial evening at the Grand Junction Pub near Hayes with Robert Beard, a canal colleague and veritable mine of knowledge and lore and know-how who confirmed Buster was "The Man".
Onwards to Uxbridge, where our first overnight was between the asbstos bridges. Here we were close to canal facilities such as a Lister specialist and a chandlers but a long way from a useful bus-stop. At the end of September we went for 14day mooring by the Oxford Road and see how we could reel in Buster to do the hot water.It did not happen and so the next chapter was opened.
Stand by for the next Hot Link
Sometimes our past comes back to haunt us. In the nicest and most expected way. Bringing with it a bottle of wine! They call it "Serendipity". You'll recall yesterday we moored for the night at GlaxoSmithKline by the A40 and before bed had set the first lock (Clitheroe) for the morrow. On Sunday then, it was away at 'first light', shortening days mean dawn is about 7am. The passage from Brentford to Bull's Bridge is about three miles but contains the infamous Hanwell Flight. Ten locks in all requiring much prior knowledge and pre-planning if you don't want to take all day. It takes me about six hours on my own. The Hanwell Flight itself runs behind Ealing Hospital and is, I believe, a listed monument and was originally a lunatic asylum.
This story involved a small fleet of Dutch Belgian motor launches and a gang of lovely Dutch Walloons who trailed their boats over the Channel, dropped them into the Paddington arm at Highline or something, did a London ring down the Paddo and Regents to Limehouse, going out on the same tide as Pentargon but vanishing upriver within minutes of getting out of the traps. They overnighted somewhere in Brentford and caught up with Pentargon while I was labouring solo up to the Hanwell Flight on Sunday morning. I set the bottom lock for them and talked them up the flight, but just before they departed the bottom lock they passed a bottle of excellent white to me as a "thank you". They had told me they had to be back at Highline by midday!
Clitheroe is the first lock out of Brentford and from there to Osterley the canal runs very close to the M4. There's a weir and the whole area is covered with trees which causes leaf-mugging and fills the cut with vegetation which becomes silt and impedes progress. C&RT have lost the plot in canal maintenance and in few places does this show as clearly as the vicinity of Hanwell.
Between the two locks, a small flotilla of tupperware pots sporting Dutch Flags which we'd last seen in Limehouse lock on Saturday were tied up. Smiles and waves were traded and it occurred to me to wonder what exactly they were up to. Arriving at Hanwell bottom, setting the lock took a few minutes when out of the gloom appeared the flotilla. Realising they could all go up together and get on with their day, I waved them through. Not only that but helped them work their way up the first part of the flight and showed them how to plan forward. More smiles and chat. They were Dutch Walloons chuffed to find a Paddy on a narrowboat they had last seen in in Limehouse.
Out of nowhere
appeared a bottle of wine, which was accepted with good grace for
Pentargon's meagre wine cellar. They had trailed their boats over by
ferry from Belgium to Highline on the Paddington Arm, slipped them and
did a London Ring before the Vicky Park Closures. All that remained for
them now was to complete the loop back to their cars, hitch up and
head home. They were pleased to be 'let through' and shown how to work
Hanwell! It was not lost to me that about that time the London Boatery
was in total confusion over the Old Ford Closyres, yet this fine
continentals had it nailed.
For me nothing changes by being nice. The flight had been against me anyway. But there was one more pleasant surprise. Coming opposite was a dark fat-boat of Pedro Fernandez. Pedro is an old farceburk friend, but apart from meeting him very briefly on the Lee Navigation, I'd not 'met' him in the real sense. Pleasantries were swapped and we proceeded, he with a big smile knowing the locks to Brentford were in his favour. Pentargon got just one lock, so I slogged away slowly, to "Three Bridges" ... Arriving around midday and having done a day's 'lock-miles' it made sense in the warm sunshine to moor up. There was plenty house-keeping to do and Three Bridges is quiet and pleasant.
West Drayton to Slough
The diary for Thursday 5th Nov. 2015 shows I overnighted at home in Essex and at 8am was "gardening" and from 9am to 11am writing, while waiting for a dental appointment at 12oc. By 1pm I was on the 347 bus to Upminster to transfer to a train at 1320 and a tube at Barking 1340 for Ealing arriving there at 1520 to find a 427 bus at 4pm to Uxbridge where a 222 bus brought me in West Drayton station and had me on board and preparing a fire by 5pm as dusk gathered. The diary further declares that by 6pm I was making dinner and 7pm writing the ship's log.
The log BTW also keeps an account of almost every receipt which passes through my hands especially while on board, including on that day an ATM chitty at Tesco timed 1649 showing the pound was costing me ?1.45 that day and later confirming I checked out of the store at 5.37pm (£4.00) and 8.43pm (£6,21) with "groceries". It also notes that my GPS recorded me at Co-Ord4,
Fri 6th Nov 2015 made interesting diary. At 8am, it records syphoning the sump and dumping the contents into the fuel tank for some "experiment" or other. 11am, away from Co-Ord4 towards Slough, within 15mins heavy black smoke from the exhaust and an [intentional] engine shutdown. There was no lubricant whatever in the sump so 5litres was added and a jury tank was rigged up to feed the engine from clean diesel. 12oc motored off, down to "Jacob" to remind him of unfinished business (nicking red diesel I believe?) The fuel probe was put back in the tank and at 12.35pm luch was "on in and carried on" The engine ran fine of the mixture of lubricant and diesel. and by 13.20 the boat was tied up opposite High Line 14.51shows me in the Basin and on my way via bus 58 to Slough where I joined the library as you do. By 16.30 I was back on board, preparing dinner in a stainless steel bowl found at an adjacent dump. 19.00 and I walked to Slough station to get my bearings sorted and by 9.20pm i was back on board writing up the log. The diary notes tersely that a spotlight in an adjacent yard was blinding me so I moved to the other side of Bridge 7 (Co-Ord5) to overnight.
stopped by [Morrisons at Yiewsley] to fettle and to locate a Grand Union Milestone at which a daffodil bulb was planted just to show someone had been through. then I've gone down the Slough Arm on what turns out to be an interesting mini voyage of discovery CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY
Three Bridges to sleep on! Lengthsman Chris gets us to the E5 bus.Buses always lead to hinterland exploration. Hanwell (Nowadays Ealing General Hospital) was a madhouse back in the day but later was upgraded to lunatic asylum. One might cynically describe Westminster as a 21stC equivalent which has not YET become a hospital.