Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hanwell High Spot

Any boater who has passed through Hanwell locks is likely to have met the Hanwell high spot.  Well that’s what the CRT guys at Adelaide dock call it.  We have certainly encountered it on more than one occasion. It’s the underwater reef of silt and tree branches and all that stuff hat the river Brent dumps into the canal when the fast flowing little river suddenly meets the comparatively still waters of the Grand Union.  When I was at Adelaide the other day they were planning to fence off the high spot with stakes and tape to warn off boats following a number of recent groundings. 

Around once a year they dredge out that particular spot and I think that might be due shortly, so hopefully, it’ll be better for a while.  The Brent doesn’t seem to like us boaters.  After dumping all its silt and submerged junk at Hanwell it then goes on to leave all its floating rubbish just down the way at Osterley lock.  That gets a regular clearout by CRT, but it only take a good rainstorm to replenish the huge raft of logs, pallets, footballs, coke cans, plastic bottles and goodness knows what else the Brent collects on its way from Barnet to join the Thames at Brentford.  I can’t recall a half mile stretch of canal anywhere on the system that’s as mucky as that short stretch.

I asked about the number of overstaying residential boats that moor just near the foot of the locks outside our beloved Fox Inn, and was told that action to get them to move on was escalating.  A number of notices had been served and overstay charges of £25 a day would be added to the fee when those boats’ licences were renewed.  we understand that people living on boats have to moor somewhere but not for extended periods on visitor moorings.

We hope to take Herbie down to Brentford sometime over the winter, so I hope CRT manages to sort all these things before we get there.

The good ship Jena now sits back at Adelaide dock having a few final bits and pieces fitted.  We took it there from Packet Boat marina yesterday.  I was particularly pleased and not a little surprised that I managed to reverse Jena out of the marina and turn her to face the GU junction without touching any part of the shore.  I was even more surprised that I managed to do it with an audience.  That’s not the way it usually goes is it?


Vallypee said...

Firstly, well done for your manoeuvring! I'd love to have seen it and wish I could do such a thing myself! Just a quezzie though. What is the situation with residential moorings? Are there enough on the system? I just wonder why people would moor on visitor moorings if there are enough other moorings available. Just curious, Neil. Mooring long term on visitor spots certainly wouldn't be allowed here, but it's also quite difficult to get a residential berth except in the historic harbours.

Sue said...

We are moored tonight outside your beloved Fox Inn at the foot of Hanwell Locks and can report that there is one boat behind us right on the junction of the Brent, two boats are on the visitor moorings including us and two boats just a little further on so CRT seem to have moved a few on. I was really surprised just how much space was available on our arrival.

The high spot is still high but CRT have it marked out with tape so hopefully there wont be too many boats getting stuck as there were we went up last week in the other direction.

We were lucky in that we knew about it but even shouting at people behind us to keep clear they still managed to mount it!

We heard from the vollies that many boats have been stuck and one took 8 hours to shift!

Oakley Clarke said...

Dad got stuck on that once - he had to get off the front of the boat on the far side and pull the boat on its lead! We've moored there as well - there are all sorts of funny bubbly noises under the boat.

Neil Corbett said...

Val, there are reportedly 5000 boats on the canals in London now, mostly with people living on them. Property prices are so high that it is all many can afford. However only a small minority have a permanent mooring so they hop about and moor wherever they can and stay as long as they dare. The city's canals are getting pretty clogged up in places. many visitor moorings are taken up by people not exactly visiting.

Sue, very glad to hear that the Fox moorings are not too full. Enjoy your stay at the Fox.


Vallypee said...

Thanks for the explanation Neil! That's a lot of boats in London!