Friday, 24 November 2006

Sight for sore eyes

3 Locks and 5 miles.
After heavy overnight rain we started the day with blue skies and very muddy towpaths. Not long after we pulled the pins we were greeted with the sight of real working narrow boat carting aggregate from the gravel works at Denham to the gravel wharf at West Drayton. The boat was well down in the water with not much freeboard to spare. We saw the same boat later in the day returning empty and we could see just how deep in the water the boat really was.
Another wide beam boat doing the same job passed us and we noticed how much he was stirring up the mud on the bottom even in the centre of the canal. This boat only just squeezed through the narrow bridge holes. It’s no wonder that the moorings along this stretch of canal are so shallow as the mud he stirred up must settle along the canal edge.
We arrived at Uxbridge just before lunch and called in on Uxbridge Boat Centre for diesel at 48p a litre and a few items from the chandlery. Back tracking about half a mile we moored up again and set off on foot to find Uxbridge Engine services for some filters and oil to do the next engine service which will need doing by the time we arrive at Winkwell. They are only a 10 minute walk from the canal which is still reasonably convenient.
Our next port of call was Denham Yacht station (Denham Marina) to see what he had in stock in the chandlery. The young lady in the shop was very knowledgeable and helpful and a credit to the marina. Between the 3 chandleries we spent a small fortune but we now have just about everything we need to complete the upgrade of the boat.
We are now moored for the night close to Denham Place which is a 17th century home and the Denham lakes which are old gravel pits in the Colne valley which were excavated for use in the building trade and are now recreational and nature reserves.

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