Saturday, July 29, 2006

A long reverse and a thunderstorm

A three day outing. Herbie seems to have survived the heat very well and despite the very hot conditions was quite cool inside when we arrived to load up. At the suggestion of Steve at the boatyard we reversed a couple of hundred yards up the narrow cut to the slipway to turn round. This saved us quite a while over going forwards the other way to the turning place. However, as boaters will know, manoeuvering a narrowboat in reverse is not easy, especially when the canal is severely weeded up! I stood on the boat clearing the weeds as we backed into them, and Kath stood on the bank attempting to steer the boat using ropes fore and aft. It wasn't very elegant or very quick, but we got there, and just managed to turn the boat round in the tight space.

Not all the plant life counts as weeds, the Slough Arm has lots of nice water lillies.

Anyway we made it, and set off out towards the main Grand Union line and southwards towards Tescos at Bulls Bridge. for supplies of food and drink to entertain our guests next day. The humidity was really building up and we could tell a thunderstorm was coming, and we were glad to arrive at Tescos and moor up to wait it out. We weren't to be disappointed because the thunderstorm arrived right on top of us. There was hardly any time between the flashes and the bangs. I think a narrowboat ought to be a safe place in a thunderstorm, being a metal box well earthed. A proper Faraday Cage I reckon, not that I'm volunteering to be struck in order to prove it!

The storm passed at dusk and we decided to stay put. Not the best spot in the world, directly outside Tescos lorry bay, and directly across the canal from a 24hr bus maintenance depot. There was plenty of noise, added to by the fact that we were only a couple of miles from the take off runway at Heathrow! Despite that, we had a very pleasant evening sitting in the cratch playing music and watching a surpising number of boats still travelling in the dark.

Night time outside Tescos

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