Monday, 31 October 2016



IMG_8987Our mooring at Rembrandt Gardens. It’s amazing to see the house’s around us here in Little Venice.They are a tad expensive with a four bedroom selling for just £11 million.

IMG_8989This is new since we last came here. It’s some sort of talking wall , but I haven’t a clue what it’s all about.

IMG_8990The skyline around Paddington is changing daily and we were surprised to see the buildings opposite the station exit gone.

IMG_8995We walked up onto the bridge over the canal and saw what was going on .Its a new Taylor Wimpey development and they say that this is Zone 1 living at its best. A collection of just 123 stunning apartments in the heart of Paddington, one of the most well-connected areas in London where cool bars, stylish restaurants and designer shopping are all within easy walking distance.

With one bedroom apartments costing £1 million and 3 bedroom apartments costing £2 million I think we will give it a miss.

IMG_9032This is a new sign outside of Paddington station . It was always 14 days moorings on the approach to Paddington basin ,but it seems Canal and River Trust have now included the approach as part of the basin and reduced the moorings to 7 days.

IMG_8994In your dreams Carolyn, I cant afford London prices like that. With a Tesco just around the corner that will do us just fine. We have Curly (Abbie) our number one Granddaughter coming up in the morning and I’m determined to take her to some of the Museums and to see some of the sights in London even though she would probably sooner hit the shops with her Nan ,which no doubt she will do as well.


                                                                                                             Happy Days

Saturday, 29 October 2016

More boat names



                                                                                              What a great boat name.


                The Flying Kipper (occasionally known as "The Kipper Express") is the railwaymen's nickname for the overnight goods train .


                                                                         The Frog and Roastbeef is the highest pub in Europe. ( I had to Google that)


                                                                                          Maude to the bollard.


                                                         We sometimes have one of these ,but not very often (Nose grows longer)



                                                                                                               Happy Days

Thursday, 27 October 2016

London bound


IMG_8922We pulled pins at 07.15 from our mooring above Cowley lock and soon made the short hop down onto the services above the lock. We filled with water and emptied cassettes before dropping down the lock at 08.05. We now have a five and a half hour lock free cruise to our booked mooring at Rembrandt gardens in Little Venice , London.

IMG_8924This is one of the first times I have seen this on a lock. It’s pointing to where the cill is.

IMG_8940On our way in and passing Engineers Wharf there are always these small Gull’s sat on the posts outside the small marina.

IMG_8947Passing through Alperton and it was good to see these volunteers cleaning up the towpath.Although there are a few boats moored here it’s not somewhere we have ever stopped before and have always been put off by the beer cans ,beer bottles,litter and Graffiti.


IMG_8956We always love crossing the North circular and always stop to take a picture or two and to let number one ships dog Hamish stretch his legs . Today it was no different with the traffic in the left hand lane at a standstill ….Such a shame !!

IMG_8977After a most enjoyable cruise we arrived dead on time after five and a half hours cruising at Rembrandt gardens. As it was One thirty our mooring should have been empty and ready for us, but as you can see there was a boat on it. A call to Canal and River Trust and they said they would try and sort it. Luckily after an hour the boat moved and we got onto our mooring. Within ten minutes of mooring Carolyn said goodbye and was off to Paddington and then on the number 23 bus in to Oxford Street and Regents Street. No doubt I wont see much of her over the coming days.

                                                                                                                 Happy Days

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Sunk (not Inca)


IMG_8878We pulled ropes from rings at 07.55 and made the short hop over to the Tesco moorings at Rickmansworth. When ever a large supermarket is this close we always take advantage of it and do a big shop for heavy essentials (wine) .

IMG_8883At 09.15 and in beautiful sunshine we dropped down Stockers lock which is at the Southern end of the Rickmansworth pound.

IMG_8899All change at Copper mill lock. After filling with water below the lock we passed this new development which now seems to be finished. What we did notice here is that there seems to be a lot more water coming from under the new development than there used to be . Most of the flow used to come near the bridge and next to The Coy Carp pub.So after exiting the lock or water point you need to give it a bit of throttle to get through without being pushed onto the bank.


IMG_8901Not far from Copper mill lock and we passed this sad sight. Just hope that it was empty at the time..

IMG_8904There must be an airport around here somewhere as the sky is full of Helicopters……

IMG_8911and small aircraft. This one has it’s landing gear down and seemed to be descending through the sky.

IMG_8907At Black Jacks lock it was such a relief to see that the Croc still hasn’t got the rabbit.

IMG_8914We soon got to Denham deep lock which Carolyn just hates . She doesn't like walking across the gates when the lock is empty as it is a twelve foot drop to the bottom. I have offered to do the lock but she is also not happy to be twelve foot down in a lock on the boat. In the end we got through with no problems.

IMG_8919After a good cruise we picked up this mooring a couple of hundred yards above Cowley lock .We have moored here several times before and have watched the boat opposite slowly deteriorate over that time . How sad it is to see that it has now sunk, I’m sure in it’s day it was a beautiful boat and someone’s pride and joy.

Tomorrow and it’s an early start. We plan to get on the services at Cowley lock then after filling and emptying drop down the lock and make the five and a half hour cruise in to London.

                                                                                                              Happy Days

Monday, 24 October 2016



IMG_8861We were lucky to pick up this mooring at the top of Rickmansworth (5th boat down). These moorings are all 14 day and are normally full when ever we pass through. We have a few days to wait until our mooring will be ready in London so this seemed a good enough place to spend that time.

IMG_8858For the size of the town Rickmansworth has a small High Street ,but one thing it has is a Wetherspoons pub and how rude would it be not to go in for a drink and a bite to eat. It’s called the Pennsylvania which is the American state founded by William Penn who, at one time, lived in the High Street, Rickmansworth. Penn died in 1718 and was buried at the Friends’ Meeting House, Jordans, near Rickmansworth.

IMG_8862We have been this way many times and never thought much about the second lock which is next to Batchworth lock. It seems to be well maintained . It also has this odd shaped weir next to it. We found out that it was called Chess Lock,and goes towards Rickmansworth Wharf. It doesn't go that far nowadays, as it stops at the residential moorings in Chess Basin, but the lock is still in working order and in use.

IMG_8866After walking about 100 yards around the corner from the lock we came across this electric lift bridge and then Chess basin with at most only 10 residential boats in it’s 2 sections. The road over the lift bridge seemed to go to just one residential property. It seems to be a bit of a waste having an electric lift bridge here that is hardly used when certain other bridges on the system are desperate to be powered.

IMG_8877With availability issues in London for coal diesel and gas we contacted Phil and Mary on their fuel boats Hyperion and Hyades for a delivery while we were in Ricky. Bang on time and with a smile as always they filled us up with diesel,coal and a bottle of gas that had just run out. As with all the fuel boats on the system they do a brilliant job getting to us in all weathers ,even breaking through ice .They have a Facebook page  and can also be contacted on  07415298381 .                                                                                             


                                                                                                                              Happy Days

Friday, 21 October 2016

Abandoned !


IMG_8824We were awoken early from our mooring at Kings Langley by voices outside. Looking out of our cratch we saw six men boarding the boat moored in front of us. After quickly getting dressed I went out only to discover that the boat had been seized by The Canal and River Trust. I spoke to one of the guys taking the boat and he explained that the boat had been abandoned and the licence fee for the boat had not been paid.

IMG_8829They left this letter which was posted on a post believe it or not next to where the boat was moored. Maybe someone knows the owner .

IMG_8825The last time we were here some six months ago they were putting down a new surface on the towpath . I'm pleased to say that the work has now been completed ,but not so pleased to see that it has now become a racetrack for speeding cyclist.

IMG_8831After pulling pins at 09.10 we soon cruised under the M25 and where it starts to feel you are getting close to London , But we still have 15 hours of cruising and and 19 locks before we get to Little Venice and our reserved mooring at Rembrandt Gardens..

IMG_8837Passing The Grove Golf course and they seemed to have some sort of competition going on called the British Masters

IMG_8844We then passed the mill at the grove which was a water powered Corn mill that has now been converted to residential use .A wheel and pump can be found in the grounds of the Grove Golf Course. It used to pump water to the Manor House from the canal and is now left in a bush near Grove Mill. I find it a bit strange that it is left in a bush !!!.

IMG_8798We saw our first Red Kite just below Milton Keynes and it seems that every time we head this way we see more and more of them . At one time confined to Wales, a reintroduction scheme has brought them back to many parts of England and Scotland. Central Wales, central England - especially the Chilterns, central Scotland - at Argaty, and along the Galloway Kite Trail are the best areas to find them.

IMG_8848After a night at Croxley we dropped down Common moor lock only to be greeted with this mess on the Towpath. I would have thought that it had been left by boaters . Such a shame as it gives us all a very bad name.

IMG_8849I always enjoy passing long lines of moored boats and I’m not bothered about slowing down to tickover’ after all it’s a journey not a race on the canals, it’s just good to have a good look at other peoples boats and be a bit nosey sometimes. 

Just a short cruise today and we were lucky to pick up a good mooring at Rickmansworth where we will spend a couple of days before we push on into London.

                                                                                                         Happy Days

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Pop up


IMG_8788We pulled pins from Berkhamsted at 08.15 and entered the lock at the end of the Waitrose pound. This has to be one of the most popular mooring spots on this part of the Grand union . When we got here we were lucky to pick up the last available mooring.

IMG_8805With good weather forecast we were determined to put in a good days cruising and pushed on until we had a problem at Winkwell. There is an electric swing bridge here that is notorious for failing and it seems that is what has happened now. The bridge was stuck half open which meant that cars couldn’t get over it ,but luckily we just managed to squeeze through.

IMG_8808We then passed this boat at Winkwell lock. They looked to be a couple of Livaboards and said they were on their way to Milton Keynes and asked us how long would it take them to get there. But what got me was their louvre windows  . I have no idea why they did it, maybe for security or maybe because they were draughty ,but it looked like they had spray foamed inside of them as you can see in the picture.

IMG_8811This is new and just popped up from nowhere ! It’s a Pop up cafe at Fishery lock and seems to be run by an enterprising boater and trading off their mooring.

IMG_8812I counted 18 solar panels on this boat and they looked like they were big enough to be 200 watts each .He must be running something big onboard for that lot to power. I would have thought he would be very self sufficient even in Winter which is good.. Mind you I wouldn’t mind a few more on Inca if I had the room.

IMG_8813It’s that time of year when we start to see everything changing colour. I haven’t a clue what this bush is but Carolyn says we will have to get one.I’m not sure exactly where she expects me to put it, although no doubt some people could suggest somewhere.

IMG_8814Can you spot the Kingfisher in flight ? A load of rubbish picture I know,but you should try getting a picture when it passes you at what seems to be a hundred miles an hour. I will keep trying !!!

IMG_8820We have seen so many of these lately and mostly in locks. It’s a Red signal Crayfish which is an invasive species in this country. I do have some traps for catching them which I will have to dig out as I understand they are very tasty. Mind you I don’t think I would eat any caught in the canal , but there are a few river sections where I might give it a go sometime.

IMG_8818It’s certainly looking a lot different and darker as you go down the two locks at Nash Mills. Most of the new flats are finished and there is just the block at the bottom lock to complete. With 2 bedroom apartments starting at £315,000 I think I will give it a miss.

We eventually moored up at Kings Langley after a most enjoyable six hour cruise. We will spend the night here before moving off in the morning and continuing our journey to London.

                                                                                                            Happy Days