Thursday, June 15, 2006

In ( tempered) praise of the Slough Arm

Some people have a poor opinion of the 5 miles of the Slough Arm of the Grand Union where Herbie is stabled. They should see it at the moment. The water is clear, full of fish, dotted with damsel flies, edged by yellow Irises and altogether very lush. However if your boat is much more than 2 feet deep, I'd walk the towpath rather than cruise it because it is very shallow which makes it very slow going, especially as you will need to stop at least once to clear the weed from your propeller! One lucky angler, using two rods, caught a four pound tench on each of them simultaneously as we passed. He kept his cool, dealing with one at a time while we stopped to watch.

This week my good friend Pete Higson joined me for a short cruise from our moorings at Iver, down towards Slough to the winding hole (about a mile) to turn the boat, then four miles back out onto the Grand Union proper, turning left and going just a hundred yards to the Water's Edge pub /restaurant. Pete declined the honour of steering Herbie up to the pub landing stage since it looked (and is) a fragile affair requiring a sharp turn and a gentle stop. So I had a go and all I can say is the jetty is still standing.

The pub, which we were anxious to explore for future use, is OK except they have no real ale:-( It would make a pleasant enough overnight mooring for a meal at the pub. There's something special about mooring up ten feet from the pub door! The food looked reasonable. Thankfully the cold Guinness was a good substitute for proper beer on such a hot day.

It wasn't so hot on the way back though. Wwe good a good soaking in a very heavy thunderstorm. All we could do was head for the nearest bridge, get underneath and wait it out.

This weekend I'm off to Nottingham to attend one of RCR (River Canal Rescue)/ Tony Brooks boat maintenance courses. Watch this space for a review.

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