Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is this the worst bit of canal? Another bit that might improve, and some sad tidings.

The approach to Brentford down the GU looks OK.  Some of it is even quite attractive.  But the state of the water in the last two or three miles is, I have to admit, pretty awful.  Coming down the Hanwell flight on Monday I had to stop several times to get plastic bags off the propellor.  Sometimes it picked up a new one only seconds after removing the previous.

Simon was with us and Herbie and Tortoise were roped up side by side with me steering both boats as Kath, Simon and Carrie worked the locks.  All the bags on the prop were stopping it working, and moving and steering was hard.  At each lock we fished out the bags and by the bottom of the flight we had a black sack full of 'em.

Then the river Brent joins the canal, carrying more detritus from its slow journey through North East London.  Hitting the still water of the canal, all the suspended silt and rubbish sinks to the bottom in a smelly mess, with continuous bubbles of methane breaking the surface around the moored boats at the Fox.  From here on, you are well advised to keep to the centre of the canal as the edges are all silted up, and the water is thick and black.

Well it'll be some time before we pass through these waters again as soon we'll be off up the Thames and the Oxford.  We have said our farewells at our High Line Yachting moorings and we will miss it a lot.  By the time we return there in a couple of years or more it might be much improved as it seems that BW are at last planning to do something about dredging and clearing the Slough Arm (don't hold your breath though).  Apparently they have completed a depth survey along the whole length.  This will surely tell them that the depth is insufficient for anything but shallow drafted boats, and they do have a statutory duty to maintain navigability, so they will have to do something sooner or later.  As to the weed growth at Highline, they have now tethered straw bales at regular intervals along the sides, and these are supposed to inhibit the growth of weed and algae.

We've never been so busy.  Claire moves house today and tomorrow, and we are getting ready for our trip up the tideway after the weekend.  Today Grace woke up with a rash so we have to fit in a visit to the doctor in the midst of all the  business of letting carpet fitters, receiving deliveries of cookers etc.

Lastly some rotten news.  Spare a thought for poor Carrie whose boat was burgled in London while she and Simon  were with us at the Fox.  Carrie who has the carbon footprint of an ant and deliberately lives a very non acquisitive life with less wordly goods than anyone else I know, has had her only precious bits and pieces stolen.  Our hearts go out to her, although I know being Carrie, that she will bounce back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if the Hanwell/Brentford stretch has deteriorated since we last passed that way (a long time ago) - what a shame. Let's keep our fingers crossed for some improvements.

So sorry to hear Carrie's news - that is so low.

So now our paths have diverged for a while - maybe we'll catch you on our way back to London.

Sue, nb Indigo dream