Sunday, 28 July 2013

Our Journey so far

We moved aboard Narrowboat Inca on the 7th of April and it still feels like we are on one long holiday. So far we have covered 254 miles and gone through 234 locks. It works out that we average 2.6 miles a day (about the speed of a snail). Still we don't care as we are very happy with the way things are going so far.

On the blog front we have now had over 6000 views and the statistics are very surprising. We get views mostly from the UK as you would expect but we also have views from all over the world.

All time views

United Kingdom    5134
United States           281
Russia                      265
Germany                   84
France                       63
Latvia                        61
Netherlands               22
India                          14
Ukraine                     10
Canada                        8

 Plus visits from China , Japan , Brazil , Turkey and many other countries although i suspect many are just people coming across us by chance.

This week we have moved further north but only 12 miles which works out about right with our average snail speed of 2.6 miles a day.

                                      Wednesday we are moored just outside Hemel Hempstead.

Overnight we had heavy rain and the level in the canal went up by over a foot . You can see how tight the stern rope has gone. Not realising what had happened overnight Carolyn took the dogs out in the morning she stepped off expecting a small step but it was double the distance and oops! she fell on to the towpath.

As we had a few bits of shopping we decided to head for Berkhamsted and try and get a mooring outside of Waitrose.

                           On the way, Carolyn stopping the traffic at a traffic controlled swing bridge

                                               Indians !!!! The totem pole at Berkhamsted.

                        We are moored in exactly the same place as last time we were here.

On our way to Berkhamsted we met a few boaters coming from the Tring summit direction saying that the summit was closed as someone had left a paddle on a lock open and drained the whole section of canal. On Friday morning Carolyn rang the Chandlers at Cowroast and the man there said the level had been low and was now down by about 4 inches and it had not been as bad as we were told.

So after Carolyn had completed her retail therapy in the town we pulled pins at 11 o clock.

                                           Saw this on the way.   I like this name for a boat.

   Our mooring for the weekend is 2 locks before Cowroast. And with good walks for the dogs and good satellite reception and 20 megs of broadband it will do for us.

We will stay here until Monday then move on as we have a very special visitor coming on Thursday to spend a couple of weeks with us and we need somewhere safe for her mum Chloe to park my old car (which she got for nothing) for a few days.

                                                    Happy days


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

You Beauty

On Friday we moved the short distance from Denham deep lock to Harefield ,as it was so busy with walkers and cyclist due to the country park next to Denham lock.

Our mooring at Harefield. Inca is moored about 5 boats down on the right. On the left is a boat coming out of Harefield marina.

With the temperature at 30 deg all weekend we didn't do a lot. The worst or best day (depending if you like the heat or not) was Monday with the temperature reaching 33 deg. We did have problems sleeping as the temperature was still 28 deg at 11 o clock at night.

On Tuesday we pulled pins at 07.30 with the intention of getting to Cassiobury park which is on the out skirts of Watford.

This is the canal at the coy carp public house. There is so much water entering the canal they have set up a small slalom course for canoes. Rob Porter (Harry Potter) would love it here ...

In the top right hand side of this picture you can just about see 2 men leaning on railings . They are working in the Maple cross sewage treatment works just behind the narrowboats. Obviously they were skiving and it looked like one of them was an ica man and the other an electrician , It couldn't have been an operator as they work so hard. ....( If the truth be known it was probably a couple of managers ).............(  But at least they had their ppe on ).

Just before you reach Stockers lock at Rickmansworth you come across this collection of old wooden barns. It turns out that this was the location of the tv series Black Beauty which was on in the early seventies. It is called Stockers farm. Both myself and Carolyn started humming the theme tune as we cruised past it...Do you remember how it went ???? ( you are humming it).In case you forgot it.. hit this link....

Can you remember beauty running through this field with Vicki on board to fetch doctor Gordon when Annie from the village fell down a mine shaft and broke her leg....They don't make em like that anymore......

Next it was a stop at Rickmansworth Tesco  .With a mooring outside it is ideal for stocking up on all those heavy items....especially wine...

                                       On the subject of wine....what a great name for a boat.

After 6 hours of slow cruising we reached our destination . We did several loads of washing on the way, so as you can see the washing line is out and full of washing.

Tomorrow should be another long day as we want to push on and get a few miles behind us before the weekend.

                                            Happy days

Friday, 19 July 2013

Visiting the queen

After a lovely weekend with my Mum and Dad we decided on Tuesday to go and see the Queen. It was a 6 mile round walk through Hyde park and down constitution hill.

Carolyn outside Buckingham palace.
             For some reason everywhere we go people from Japan love Molly and Hamish.

                                                                  Me at the Palace.

                           There were thousands of people watching them change the guard.

                                     It was so hot at 29 deg we could have jumped in the water.

When Carolyn came back from one of her many many shopping trips she had this device with her . She said there was so much to buy in London and she couldn't carry all .But now she could buy loads more. (And no Carolyn I will not be using it) .
Only once all week did we see them operate the famous curling bridge in Paddington basin.


        How clever is that ?.... and it is all done with hydraulics and takes about 2 minutes to work.
We have now had 8 nights here in London , the longest we have spent at any one place since Upton marina and now feel it is time to move on.
So at 05.45 on Thursday morning we are filling with water at Little Venice , after not filling for 8 days we were getting very low.

                                                        Saw this and    Yes.... they do live in it.
On the way out of London Carolyn spotted this boat and said what a lovely name.(Her brother is called Basil) . Just need to find a boat called Michael and one called Janet now. Oh! and one called Sharon of course.

     This was a great sight , going over the North circular road with all the rush hour traffic below us.

                                                The journey out of London was so hot.

                                                       A paddle wheel on a Narrowboat.

 After 6 and a half hours of travelling this is our mooring for Thursday night above Denham deep lock just outside of Uxbridge. Tonight will be an early night to bed ,and after a couple of glasses of Hardy's  Cabernet-Shiraz-Merlot a cracking fruity wine from Australia at 14% it will not be long before we are soundo.
Happy days




Monday, 15 July 2013


We are still in the capital and we still have to do what boaters have to do, so below is a picture of me walking from Paddington basin via Paddington Station to Little Venice.( Guess what's on the trolley ??? ). Carolyn was carrying the rubbish....

                              Good job done......... we had some funny looks but we don't care.

On Thursday we had a visit from Carolyn's brother Michael his wife Lorraine and later by their son Matthew. We had a very enjoyable few hours together and a good old natter (talk).

                                                           See you all again soon.

Friday morning we decided to have a walk into Hyde park and then into Oxford street. We passed speaker's corner but no one was speaking.

               But Carolyn was speaking.... on the phone to Chloe yet again approaching Marble Arch.

              Oxford street.... What a shame we had the dogs and couldn't go in any shops .

     Back in Hyde park people where queueing for the evening concert with Elvis Costello.

Every time we go anywhere we always go past st Marys hospital to see what is happening with the royal birth. Today there were 3 numptie's dressed as green babies. For some reason the press thought it was great and couldn't get enough of them.

Friday afternoon my parents Ken and Joan arrived for a long weekend. We were very lucky and managed to get them a hotel just around the corner. With the temperature at night still in the mid twenties it was far to hot on Inca at night for them to sleep on the boat.

On Saturday it was retail therapy for Carolyn and Joan and they spent most of the day in Oxford street shopping. The temperature today was over 30 deg and we love it.

      On Sunday we had a morning walk to Little Venice and sat in the park watching the world go by.

                                                                    Little Venice .

             On the way back we came across this shop.....What a strange name for a shop.

This is Joan stood on the steps outside the Lindo wing where princess Di had William and Harry and Kate should have the new royal baby.

                                               Hamish and Ken...........New best friends.

Monday morning was spent chilling in the shade before Ken and Joan's journey home on the train as the temperature soon got up into the high twenties .

With Ken and Joan now on their way home to Devon we have decided to spent a couple more days in London.

Solar panels

The solar panels are doing a great job . We are in the shade from 11 in the morning until 4 in the after noon so are not getting a full days sunshine but we have not run the engine since we arrived here last week.

Happy days



Wednesday, 10 July 2013

London bound

On Monday we set off early with the intention of going straight into London. But after a few hours travelling we met a couple of boats coming in the opposite direction who said "don't bother we tried and you can't get into Paddington Basin as it is full and they are turning boats away".
 Paddington is the safest place to stop in the capital as it has cameras everywhere and security guards on patrol.
So instead of wasting several more hours travelling we stopped at Cowley park for a couple of nights.

                                                          Our mooring at Cowley     

We were in two minds whether to bother with London or not. Neither of us had been there before except for going to Wembley stadium 25 years ago and Heathrow airport 7 years ago. But after a great deal of discussion we agreed we would get up at 04.30 on Wednesday morning and just go for it.

                 We left our mooring at 05.00 after taking Molly and Hamish for a walk and one of the first parts of London we saw on our way in was the arch on Wembley stadium.

Behind the bushes and railings is Kensal Green Cemetery the final resting place of  Isingbard Kingdom Brunel and a famous man from Totnes Mr Charles Babbage the mathematician.

After 5 hours of non stop cruising we made it to Little Venice and it took another half an hour to get into Paddington basin as there was all sorts of fun and games going on at the water point.

But it was well worth the effort. We managed to get very good mooring right next to St Marys hospital.

                                                             Inca next to St Mary's

As the dogs had been in the boat for so long we decided to head straight for Hyde park which was only a 15 minute walk away.

       We hadn't walked a hundred yards when we came upon this sight. The press out in force.

 There  were camera's and people every where. Further down the road there were all the satellite lorries

                                               This is the building they were watching.

We later found out that apparently a new royal baby is about to be born in the next few days and this is the wing in St Mary's where Kate will give birth . This is the same place that Princess Di gave birth to princes William and Harry.

                          We eventually got to Hyde park and had a walk around the Serpentine.

                                        Princess Di's memorial full of kids splashing around.

                                                               Chilling in the park.

So far we have found London to be a very busy and noisy place as you would expect it to be and also a bit of an eye opener for us country bumkins from Devon. We are not sure how long we will stay but look forward to having a look around London.

Happy days