Its only 24 hours until Herbie leaves the dear old Slough Arm for another eighteen months at least as we begin our trek back to Crick where our old pontoon mooring waits for us. This moving between bases for the winter has worked pretty well. Not only have we had the opportunity to put in some winter visits to London but we have saved money as well because for the month we took coming down south and the month we will take to get back, we’re not paying for a mooring. Of course you can get from Iver to Crick in less than half a month, but why rush? The Grand Onion is there to be savoured like a fine wine.
Actually as we have so much time in hand we have decided to treat ourselves to a detour so we can have a last visit to Paddington before we head back north. Now that the weather looks like improving for a few days at least, and the spring flowers are out, it should be boating at its best. On Sunday we will have a big crew and no locks to do. Typical. The other members of our folky supergroup FPS (For Pete’s Sake) are joining us as we make our triumphant entrance into Little Venice. We have promised them many delights en route – the pile of rubble where the Hovis factory used to be, the back of Acton power station, a wall which if it wasn’t there you could see Old Oak Common engine sheds and Wormwood scrubs, a ten second glimpse of the arch over Wembley stadium, the gas holders at Kensal Green, – what’s not to like?
March is a difficult month to predict weather wise. I looked back over previous March entries to this blog, hoping to see pictures of daffodils and spring lambs. Actually what I mostly found was jobs we were doing on Herbie. Roof painting in March 2008, having a new cratch cover March 2009, making a well deck folding table March 2010, making new CanalOmeters March2011, etc. Now I feel guilty about not having done anything significant this month apart from remaking a couple of GU CanalOmeters because the old ones had got dog eared and water stained.
One thing I did find whilst looking back was this Underground style cruising map that I knocked up in March 2009.
(Note if you first looked at this before 12.15 today you will have seen a version of the map containing mistakes. Thanks to Anon for pointing out my previous sloppy workmanship. Must try harder. Fixed now I hope.)
Quite handy for anyone needing to plan picking up or dropping crew at railway stations near the canal. I think I’ll print another off and laminate it. Feel free to copy it if it’s any use to you.