(Posted by Cath, using Alan's account).
A grey and overcast day after yesterday. The alarm went off as usual at 7 am, and again, I had difficulty in surfacing from sleep. I've had a difficult couple of terms at work, and I'm falling asleep all over the place. Alan got up and took Charlie up the towpath for his first walk of the day, while I levered myself from bed and got dressed.
Quiet mooring just below Lot Mead Lock
A cuckoo was calling loudly on the other side of the canal, so I drew the curtains back to see if I could see it. Unfortunately not, I got a view instead of a young man in pyjamas scratching vigorously at his undercarriage while having a smoke on the front deck of his boat - why do some people seem to think that they are invisible when on a boat?
At Batchworth lock, I was steering when two portly, older Asian gentlemen appeared to one side of the lock and started to limber up and do stretches. I have to admit to being fascinated - one was dressed in loose joggers and had a woolly hat pulled down over his ears - the other was wearing a jacket and a flat cap - were they planning to run? Alan had wound the paddles and I was steadily descending, but I wanted to watch the men, so I found myself standing on tiptoe as they slowly disappeared. Unfortunately I will never know, but my last view of them was as the stouter of the two, in the jacket and flat cap, lay down on a bench and started doing leg raises - I sank down with a final sight of his trainers.
Black Jack's Lock
The rather deep Denham Deep Lock
It stayed dry, if overcast, all day. We headed south aiming to stop at Uxbridge for fuel, then, soon after we came out of Uxbridge lock we suddenly remembered that Uxbridge chandlery is shut on a Monday. We pulled over and did some frantic ringing around to find somewhere within range of our rapidly depleting diesel that would sell us some. Willowbridge on the Paddington Arm is open on a Monday, and quoted a good price.
We passed a number of Canal World Forum boats as we headed south. Some in their home locations, others on the move.
After Cowley we had many lock free miles - not great for Charlie the Dog, he was cooped up, as he is usually gets several walks a day - done between series of locks over a couple of miles each time. Charlie is walked along the towpath, then is tethered safely at the side while we work through the locks.
Then along the Paddington Arm to Willowbridge Marina where we filled with diesel, and then found that the price that they had quoted us was 'without any tax'. Hmmm... quoting a price that no-one could possibly legally purchase at. We paid considerably over the usual price, and wouldn't have filled the tank if we'd know it was so expensive.
We finally arrived at Kensal Green at about 6 pm, and took Charlie for an extended walk to make up for his incarceration all day.
Kensal Green overnight mooring
Lot Mead (near Rickmansworth) to Kensal Green
Miles: 24.5 , Locks: 9
Total Miles: 46.0 , Total Locks: 54
11 hours ago