Apr 8 2007, 07:26 PM
im up early, im fresh and clean and ready to go,
the preparations have taken us 3 months, ok we're lazy buggers and it could have been done in a couple of weeks but hey c'mon this narrowboating.
-Bottom painted, check
-boiler fixed... er, kindof but no... we still have a small leak,... it'll be rate.
-all tanks full with fuel and water,check
-are we wearing sunglasses, check
time to start the engine.
NOoooooo, it gives a feeble attempt to turn over but theres simply not enough power to start her up.
Penton Hook still has us by the bollocks, determined to break its stranglehold on us we pop the bonet and have a look at the heart of the beast to see whats gone awry since yesterday.
after running back to the car for the jump leads we jump start from the domestic batteries and see that the engine is running perfectly still. it seem s that the alternator isnt charging. however when we bridge a contact between the two terminals ( visible in the picture) on the back of the alternator it kicks in and starts working. so it may be we have a duff regulator or a bad connection somewhere.
anyway, its working in a fashion and we decide to go with what we've got and hit that minty waterway.
apparently my other half thinks that the boat is in fact mine so he insists I do all the driving. something Im a bit nervous about since Ive never driven a narrowboat anywhere before other than inside the marina. actually its a bloody doddle. I dont know what all the fuss is about.
The thames is quite a nice place when its not flooding, its wide, theres plenty of action and wildlife to look at. But this easter weekend it seems not many people want to head down the river... everyone is heading UP. do they know something we dont?
Its a hard place to find moorings though, safe moorings that you dont need to pay for and dont involve mooring immediately outside a pub.
we found this little spot opposite a rowing and canoing club. it was rocky though and couldnt get very close to the side. there was another narrowboat immediately behind us and that seemed to have no problems which leads me to think maybe we are deeper draughted.
One thing that strikes me about the thames is all the sunken boats. They just seem to lay there looking sorry for themselves and no one cares or can be bothered to fish them out or repair them.
So we arrived in teddington quite late on friday night after our delayed start. the next days start time was 6am to catch the high tide down to Brentford.
For those lazy sods out there who cant be arsed with early mornings, heres a few pics to show you what you are missing.
Again we were the only boat on the Thames actually moving and its a magical 1 hour in the mist.
the famous shanty shack at twickenham, as the sun rose, his place is positioned perfectly to catch the rays.
and then suddenly before we knew it, the sign for brentford.
and then the lock
and finally arriving on British waterways and the grand union
its so deceptive, you arrive into a lovely new basin at brentford, excellent facilities and shortly after that you arrive in what can only be described as the Devils Armpit. The canal from Brentford up until near to Uxbridge is one of the most dirty un-welcoming places ive ever encountered.
We made a long dash for it ( ha, like as if you can dash in these stupid ditch crawling narrowboats) all the way from brentford to Cowley North. the canal seems alot cleaner but its so popular up here, theres a constrant thrum of gennies and engines and the locals berating their children or something like that.
So we are moored at Cowley for the time being. my other half has been moody all day, abandoning me at one point leaving me to do it alone after he got angry that i repeated myself by telling him to open the side paddles before the gate paddles, such a small thing can lead to up to a week of misery with him being bad temptered. so im keeping my head down to avoid the verbal firing ground. Of course, me even writing this has pissed him off because Im not doing something "together" with him.
oh arses... sometimes I wish I was single again. life was much simpler.